USSEC consultant Pedro Gonzalez traveled to Santiago, Chile to escort a team of five customers of U.S. soybean crushers and soybean oil refineries from the Americas Region to attend the XV Latin American Congress and Exhibition on Fats and Oils organized by the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) that took place on August 20 – 23, 2013. The team was comprised of three plant managers of integrated operations of soybean crushers and refineries from Mexico, one plant manager from Costa Rica and a plant engineer of a soybean oil refinery in the Dominican Republic. This event provided updates on the most recent developments in the field of fats and oils and gave participants the opportunity to meet with experts from all over the world to learn and discuss the latest research in processing, innovation and applications.
This Congress was a scientific and technical event attended by the most important companies processing oilseeds and refining oils in Latin America. Suppliers of processing equipment, ingredients and enzymes exhibited their advances in their respective fields. Team members processing U.S. soybeans and soybean oil discussed new technologies that save energy in the plants, use sustainable processing operations, improve extraction yields of soybean oil, and achieve cost reductions in processing and refining. Participants also had the opportunity to exchange knowledge with colleagues from other countries and felt that the Congress was a valuable experience that will improve the quality of their products and the profitability of their businesses.
Soy industry representatives and farmer leaders gathered in Davenport, Iowa, this week to appoint the new USSEC Board and elect officers for the coming year. USSEC appoints, or reappoints, a board of directors comprised of 15 members – four representing the American Soybean Association (ASA), four representing the United Soybean Board (USB) and seven representing industry and state soy organizations.
The USSEC Board now consists of:
Laura Foell, Secretary
Randy Mann, Chairman
Kirk Leeds, Vice-Chairman (Iowa Soybean Association)
John Wray (Kansas Soybean Association)
John Wright, Treasurer (Owensboro Grain)
Brandon Bickham (The DeLong Company)
Rhonda Cole (SunOpta)
Aaron Skyberg (SK Foods International)
James Traub (Huron Commodities)
The list of the 2013-2014 Board can be found at https://ussec2016.wpengine.com/about-ussec/board-of-directors/
USSEC hosted a Taiwan Goodwill Mission to the United States on September 9-11 in Washington, D.C. Every two years, the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) organizes a Taiwan Agriculture Goodwill Mission to the U.S. that includes a signing of letters of intent for purchasing U.S. commodities.
United Soybean Board (USB) Chair Jim Stillman, American Soybean Association (ASA) Vice President Bob Worth, USB Director and USSEC Vice Chair Sharon Covert, and USSEC CEO Jim Sutter attended this event, which also included a reception co-hosted by USSEC at the National Press Club and several farm and industry events.
The letter of intent was entered into between the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers’ Association (TOVA) and USSEC. TVOA expressed its intent to purchase between 2.5 – 2.8 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. soy in 2014 and 2015, estimated to be valued between U.S. $1.5 billion and U.S. $1.68 billion. Letters of intent are not binding sales contracts but are traditionally honored by longtime trading partners such as Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan has purchased the quantities committed to in these letters of intent since 1997. The value of the sales is estimated, as the final terms of the deals are negotiated by private grain companies.
In 2012, Taiwan was the seventh largest market for U.S. agricultural products, the sixth largest market for U.S. soy, and one of the world’s largest consumers of U.S. agricultural products on a per capita basis. Taiwan has consistently imported over $3.5 billion of U.S. farm products annually.
USSEC hosted a two day roundtable for top management representatives from the Korean crushing industry in Pyeongchang on August 24 and 25. The objective of the roundtable was to discuss the pros and cons of evaluating soybean meal by focusing on amino acid content with regards to marketing domestically processed soybean meal. Eight top executives attended, including In Woo Lee, president of Sajo Haepyo Co., Ltd. and chairman of Korea Soybean Processors Association (KSPA) and Jin Hyeon Kim, vice president of CJ CheilJedang Corp. USSEC Animal Utilization Director Hyung Suk Lee discussed the attitude change of the Korean feed industry, especially broiler integrators, on the usefulness of amino acid in evaluating soybean meal. Say Young Jo, USSEC Country Director – Korea, led a discussion focused on possible issues that the local crushing industry may have when adding the importance of amino acid profiling to their soybean meal marketing. Mr. Jo suggested that the local crushing industry create a task force with KSPA to develop a model that quantifies the benefits and risks of amino acid values linked to soybean meal that links to the existing marketing mix.
USSEC participated in the Abastur Trade Show from August 26-29 USSEC in Mexico City. The Abastur Trade Show is one of the leading events for the retail and food service segments in Mexico and Latin America. This year, 1,300 exhibitor companies representing ten countries participated in the event.
USSEC consultants Jorge Martinez, Pedro Gonzalez and Alvaro Becerril promoted soybean oils and soy foods at the USSEC booth. More than 20 soybean products were exhibited and promoted by USSEC including soybean oils, soy milks, soybean texturized protein foods and soy snacks manufactured by ten companies that consume U.S. soybeans and U.S. crude soybean oil in the Americas Region. USSEC consultants helped managers and representatives from these companies to exhibit and promote their products and assisted them in making more than 70 new commercial contacts. USSEC’s participation in the Abastur Trade Show is expected to increase the soybean product sales of participant companies and to further raise the consumption of U.S. soybeans and soybean oil.
USSEC Regional Director – Americas Region Francisco de la Torre and USSEC consultants Belinda Pignotti and Jairo Amezquita conducted the Regional Animal Production Course (RAPCO) for fish production in Hacienda del Carmen near Guadalajara, Mexico. This event was attended by a team of soybean product users from Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. The course was presented by aquaculture experts from the U.S. and Latin America. Major topics covered included the diverse aspects of fresh water and marine fish production; aquafeed formulation and nutrition; the uses of soy products in aquafeed production; pelleting and extrusion processes in aquafeed production; fish health; and bioflock management, among others. USSEC consultants also conducted a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) exercise with event participants.
Participants found the course to be both interesting and useful; many of them expect to implement changes and improvements in their processes and operations. The implementation of the new aquaculture technologies learned during the course will improve the quality of their products and production processes, as well as production costs of their aquaculture operations. The aquafeed mills represented in this RAPCO course produce more than 400,000 metric tons (MT) per year of fish feed that represents a potential of usage of more than 150,000 MT yearly of U.S. soybean meal and U.S. soy products.
USSEC recently invited thirty participants from Latin American to the Regional Animal Production Course (RAPCO) on poultry nutrition, held from August 20-23 at the International Grains Program Conference Center at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. The course, taught by USSEC representatives, industry professionals and academic instructors, focused on new techniques and updating participants’ knowledge of poultry nutrition and management. Topics covered included the nutrient value of soybeans; the birds’ digestive systems; broiler breeder nutrition and management; the effect of feed processing on broiler performance; enzyme application; and heat stress in poultry. The participants also toured the Kansas State University feed mill. Participants acknowledged that the course helps reinforce basic concepts and to learn about the latest industry innovations.
According to USSEC consultant and RAPCO director Carlos Campabadal, the technical program helps Latin American customers who import U.S. soybean meal to “better understand nutritional benefits and how to improve their operations.” The mission of RAPCO, which began in 1989, is to teach new technologies for customers to improve their production parameters and to create a greater market for U.S. soy.
USSEC Technical Issues Director Kim Nill, together with the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), recently hosted a group of fifteen Associação de Produtores de Soja de Mato Grosso (APROSOJA) member farmers. APROSOJA is one of the member organizations of ISGA (International Soybean Growers Alliance), which sent a group of grower leaders from the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay to Europe earlier this year to urge that the EU’s AgBiotech import approval process be sped up and based upon scientific criteria instead of the political vagaries that have caused innumerable World Trade Organization (WTO)-contravening delays for the past 16 years.
Presentations to the APROSOJA group and subsequent discussion covered the environmental and economic benefits of biotech soybeans, regulatory delays of biotech crop genetic event import approvals in the EU and China, how best to explain the safety and benefits of biotech soybeans to overseas government officials, and potential future funding of a WISHH project by APROSOJA.
USSEC Consultant Julio Chaves traveled to Texas to escort a group of three Mexican preferred customers who consume U.S. soybeans to manufacture soy foods to the 15th annual short course “Food Extrusion: Cereal, Proteins and Other Ingredients” at Texas A&M University in College Station. The objectives of this course were to examine the processing of various food ingredients; study the applications and benefits of texturized vegetable protein (TVP) in different food systems; identify current practices for processing TVP; explore extrusion processing and its hardware; learn and understand the processing of whole grain cereals and legumes; and demonstrate different food-related equipment in operation. This course was presented by instructors involved in the industry who are highly experienced in their field. The extrusion course proved to be useful for these USSEC customers to get ideas to implement changes in the improvement of their production processes and the quality of their soyfoods based on texturized soybean protein.
USSEC recently held a course on price protection and futures for soybeans and soybean oil in Mexico City. The seminar was organized and conducted by USSEC consultants Gerardo Luna, Pedro Gonzalez and Jorge Martinez, in addition to sales representatives from major Mexican soybean oil and soyfoods manufacturers. Mr. Gonzalez spoke about the quality of the 2012 U.S. soybean harvest and the expectations for the 2013 soybean crop. Mr. Luna presented several topics including the current situation and expectations for soybeans and their derivative products; the current situation and trends of prices of soybeans and soybean oil; and price protection of soybeans and soybean oil. Participants learned about factors that determine or influence the price of the derivatives and also learned about the available existing tools for price protection. The event wrapped up with a question and answer session.
USSEC recently visited Tongyoung and Namhae in Gyeongsangnam-do and Pohang in Gyeongsangbuk-do in Korea. These southern and eastern regions of the country continue to suffer from “red tide,” a harmful algal bloom. The objective of USSEC’s visit was to investigate the magnitude of the damage and the progress of the red tide about one month after it was first reported on July 15. About 23 million fishes, 9% of the total fish inventory in these regions, were killed and an approximate 10% reduction in aquaculture feed demand was predicted. At the time of this report, fish growers started feeding the surviving fishes that were starved for one month to protect against the red tide as the concentration of microorganism was expected to stay lower. This recent outbreak became an opportunity for local fish growers and related industries to recognize once again that it is critical not to make the environment favorable to multiplying such harmful microorganisms. USSEC continues to promote environment-friendly and sustainable aquaculture based on soy in this region.
The 17th annual Japan Partnership Team consisting of 11 members of soybean crushers and importers from Japan Oilseed Processors Association (JOPA) and Japan Oil & Fat Importers & Exporters Association (JOFIEA) visited the U.S. from August 26-31. This delegation was escorted by USSEC North Asia Regional Director Paul Burke, Japan Country Director Mitsuyuki Nishimura and Japan Consultant Katsufumi Maekawa.
A roundtable meeting with grower leaders held in Columbus, Ohio was the highlight of team activities. The U.S. side included leaders from the United Soybean Board (USB), the American Soybean Association (ASA), the Ohio Qualified State Soybean Board (QSSB), Michigan QSSB and USSEC staff including Jim Stillman, Chairman, USB, and Bob Henry, Vice President, ASA. Current issues, concerns and interests were discussed at the meeting. In particular, the future of high oleic soybeans (HOSB) and reasons for American focus in this area were examined. The Japanese team had the opportunity to visit HOSB growing fields in Michigan and Ohio, and understood the rapid increase of HOSB planting in the U.S. in the future.
USSEC recently escorted a Japanese delegation representing the three largest crushing companies and five of the largest trading companies that import U.S. soy for a visit to Ohio that showcased high oleic soybeans.
USSEC North Asia Director Paul Burke focused on how the U.S. soy industry could work with the Japanese to create a demand for high oleic soy in Japan in the next three to five years. According to Mr. Burke, the Japanese industry is interested in high oleic oils as they are cheaper than other oils, yet at this time, all high oleic oils are genetically modified, presenting a potential issue to the Japanese industry and consumers, who are wary of genetically modified foods. John Motter, who hosted the delegation at his Hancock County, Ohio farm, added that the Japanese are very interested in finding better oil for people and that he felt that the next steps for the U.S. soy industry are logistics and supply. The take away from this visit, according to Mr. Burke, is that the delegation “gained a better appreciation for high oleic and sees greater opportunities for Japan. The U.S. industry earns future opportunities to collaborate to develop a demand in Japan.”
Japan is the third largest export market for U.S. soybeans with 60-70% of the market share belonging to the U.S., although the market volume has contracted in recent years with less crushing. USSEC sees high oleic as a potential key to maintain its market share and creating more volume in the Japanese market.
USSEC, together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), recently organized the 10th annual Southeast Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference (USACC). This year’s conference theme, “Managing Asian Agribusiness in the 21st Century,” focused on delivering trade and market perspectives and addressed the opportunities and challenges that the agricultural community currently faces such as price volatility, transportation and logistic concerns, China’s economic situation and the global financial outlook. Over 100 importers and suppliers representing 55 major companies involved in feed ingredient import and distribution, integrated food and feed operations, poultry and livestock production, oilseed crushing, port and logistics management, raw feed ingredient supply as well as other ag-related associations and businesses converged at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle in Perth, Australia.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter opened the conference and USSEC Chairman Randy Mann gave the participants a U.S. soy producer’s perspective on “U.S. Soybean Crop Quality and Achieving Sustainability in U.S. Agriculture.” Other U.S. soy grower leaders who participated in the conference were USB directors Sharon Covert and Daniel Corcoran, and ASA director Jim Miller.
Every year, the USACC series receives excellent financial support from the industry, and this year’s contribution reached a new record. Based on participants’ written evaluations, approximately 420,000 metric tons of U.S. agricultural products were bought, sold and or negotiated – over $159 million in value based on current nearby CME futures. Roughly 112,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans and 85,000 metric tons of U.S. soybean meal were transacted at this event, once again reinforcing the USACC’s reputation as the undisputed main agricultural event of the season in Southeast Asia.
A group of seven grower leaders traveled to Vietnam to learn more about aquaculture and the aquaculture value chain approach that USSEC Southeast Asia (SEA) is using for the aquaculture program.
Due to the reorganization of the United Soybean Board (USB) action team structure, there will be no USSEC Aquaculture Stakeholders meeting in FY 1013, which will place a greater importance on such visits. Grower leader visits will essentially be the only time that USSEC contractors in the field have to interact with U.S. soy farmers to showcase how their funding is being utilized.
During the two day trip, the group visited all four aspects of the value chain: nursery, growout, feedmill and processing unit. The USSEC SEA Aqua Team presented FY 2013 staff activities to the grower leaders. This visit provided the SEA Aqua Team with the opportunity to interact with farmers both to learn from them and to discuss their activities in more detail. The Aqua Team received feedback from the grower leaders that they were impressed with the aquaculture program and felt that it was a good use of funds.
USSEC recently conducted a seminar in Manila, Philippines to emphasize the intrinsic values of U.S. soybean meal. USSEC consultants Dr. Jan van Eys of GANS, France, and Dr. Rommel Sulabo, professor at the University of Los Baños, presented a conference to 40 nutritionists promoting the benefits of U.S. soybean meal beyond its crude protein content.
Dr van Eys shared technical highlights discussed during the recent 19th SE Asian Feed Technology and Nutrition Workshop in Thailand. Dr. van Eys also spoke about other intrinsic values of U.S. soybean meal that give the meal a superior quality compared with meal from other sources. The data were extracted from the published papers of Dr. Gonzalo Mateos of Spain and Dr. Ravi Ravindran from Massey University in New Zealand in their work evaluating the essential amino acid availability in soybean meal. Dr. Sulabo presented a paper on the effects of overheating in soybean meal and the use of total tract digestibility values for phosphorous. USSEC Technical Manager – Animal Nutrition, Dr. Basilisa Reas, gave a presentation on quality assurance parameters based on the Philippine market situation.
Dr. van Eys and Dr. Reas continued the program with in-house meetings with the technical teams of USSEC’s soy business partners including San Miguel Purefoods Inc (SMFI), Red Dragon Farms (RDF) and Bounty Fresh Foods Inc (BFFI). These companies all import their soybean meal requirements directly from the U.S.
USSEC’s Animal Utilization Technical Director Dr. Richard Han visited two Korean broiler integrators to update them about the amino acid content in imported soybean meal analyzed by Korea Feed Association. The integrators visited were Harim Co., Ltd. and Cherrybro Co., Ltd. Harim, the largest broiler integrator in Korea, annually produces 250 million broilers and uses 169,000 metric tons (MT) of soybean meal while Cherrybro produces 81 million broilers and uses 35,000 MT of soybean meal annually. Their average feed conversion ratio is approximately 1.7 kilograms (kg) feed to produce 1.5 kg live weight broiler.
Amino acid analysis results for three cargoes of U.S. soybean meal and four cargoes of Brazilian soybean meal imported in 2013 were shared with purchasing staff and integrator formulators. The average content of total amino acid, Lys and Met in U.S. soybean meal vs. Brazilian soybean meal were 44.80% vs. 43.87%, 2.90% vs. 2.83% and 0.64% vs. 0.61%, respectively. Both integrators are checking amino acid in soybean meal they are using by either regression equation or wet chemistry. Harim and Cherrybro are among the invitees to the upcoming U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in September.
USSEC’s seminar on “High Value Marine Fish Culture and Disease Prevention and Health Management in Philippines” was featured in the June 2013 Asian Fisheries Society’s E-Newsletter. This high level seminar was held on February 21 and May 23 in the Philippines for high value marine fish growers and technicians to discuss the USSEC’s aquaculture experience in Southeast Asia. Levy Loreto Manalac, USSEC Technical Manager – Aquaculture, Philippines contributed the article to the E-Newsletter.
The Asian Fisheries Society is a non-profit scientific study established in 1984 by Asian fishery professionals and is aimed at promoting networking and cooperation between scientists, technicians and all stakeholders involved in fisheries and aquaculture production, research and development in Southeast Asia. The organization’s objective is to enhance food security and income generating opportunities for fisheries workers via sound management practices, environmentally sustainable development and efficient utilization of the aquatic resources. Its E-Newsletter is published twice yearly and is available at their website, www.asianfisheriessociety.org.
USSEC recently produced a video on the use of U.S. soy in Honduran aquaculture. Consultants Jairo Amezquita, Kelly Coleman and Bryce Groark traveled to Honduras to create this piece emphasizing the key role of U.S. soy in aquafeed manufacturing for tilapia diets; the sustainability of the tilapia production industry; the current tilapia production process used in farms and processing plants; and social work with communities. This educational material will be used in USSEC’s aquaculture seminars and courses. The video was filmed at the facilities of a company which produces tilapia by means of floating cage systems at Borboton, Cajon Dam and Lake Yojoa. This company’s tilapia production represents a consumption of more than 17,000 metric tons of U.S. soybean meal per yea; it exports tilapia as fresh fillet to the U.S.
USSEC recently oversaw a two-week short course for 21 young and rising international AgBiotech regulatory officials, held at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Taught by a variety of experts from both the University of Missouri and overseas, this short course is held every two years and endeavors to teach the sometimes ill-prepared overseas officials how to regulate biotech agricultural commodity imports to their country in a WTO-compliant manner that does not needlessly disrupt international commodity trade.