(as of May 30, 2013)
Metric tons: 34.9 million
Bushels: 1,281.3 million
Metric tons: 7.9 million
Bushel equivalents: 285.4 million
Metric tons: 790,400
Bushel Equivalents: 30.0 million
Metric tons: 43.6 million
Bushel Equivalents: 1.6 billion
USSEC China conducted two intensive dairy seminars on May 21-24 in the provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong. These seminars were facilitated in collaboration with Yihai Group, the largest U.S. soybean buyer in China, Guangxi Dairy Industry Association and Shenzhen Animal Husbandry Industry Association. In Guangxi and Guangdong provinces, the inventory of milk cows numbers about 100,000. USSEC technical staff and consultants, Dr. Richard Han, Dr. Sam Shi, Dr. Ryan Murphy, Mr. Yang Jinbo and Ms. Sunny Zhang presented various technical topics to 140 large to medium sized dairy producers. Topics included an overview of the U.S. dairy industry; use of soy hull (SH), full fat soybean meal (FFSBM) and soybean meal (SBM) in dairy feeds; and new ideas on management of dairy cows in hot weather. Mr. Zhang Guoxi, sales manager for the Yihai Group, introduced their molasses-soy hull and soy protein concentrate (SPC) milk replacer to the participants.
The seminar provided an opportunity for attendees to better understand the importance of soy products in dairy feeds for both improvement of milk production and economic benefits. At the end of the program, several dairy farm managers expressed their interest in participating in a trial on soy hulls completely replacing wheat bran and partially replacing corn in cow feeds.
The Chinese dairy industry has been rapidly developing in recent years, yet the increase in milk production has not paralleled the industry growth. Wheat bran, rapeseed meal and cotton seed meal are commonly used in dairy feeds. The utilization of soy products, however, is currently less than 3%, especially in south China. USSEC believes that the proper inclusion rate of soy products in addition to good management will improve cow productivity in hot climate conditions.
USSEC conducted a dairy nutrition seminar at the Le Dewan Hotel in Rabat, Morocco on May 28. The seminar gave an overview of the nutrition and feeding of dairy herds in order to educate nutritionists and technical operation managers on methods of improving feed quality and management. Higher inclusion levels of US hipro soybean meal in dairy cattle diets were emphasized to improve performance and overall production efficiency.
Dr Sergio Calsamiglia Blancafort, professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, and Dr Charles Stallings, professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, gave presentations to select participants from top dairy operations. Dr. Calsamiglia Blancafort and Dr. Stallings, experts in dairy nutrition production and management, together with local USSEC consultant Benabdeljelil K., met with two different size dairy operations to provide technical assistance during one on one meetings. The participating companies represent about 65% of the soybean meal users in the local dairy sector and are the main users of soy products (mostly soybean meal and soy hulls).
USSEC provides technical and commercial support in improving dairy operation productivity by increasing the nutrition and feeding knowledge of nutritionists and experienced managers through such programs; the ultimate objective of these high impact programs has been to increase sourcing for U.S. soy products. Previous USSEC-implemented programs supported the growth and development of dairy operations in Morocco’s market, which is the largest dairy market in the Maghreb region.
USSEC recently provided information and support to Mexican agribusiness RAGASA, the second largest soybean crusher in Mexico. RAGASA crushes approximately 900,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans annually. The company attended the SIAL Trade Show in Toronto, Canada from April 30-May 2 as it begins marketing its soy products in Canada. Its premier brand of soy oil, Nutrioli, is 100% soy oil made from 100% U.S. soybeans. Nutrioli owns the largest market share for this particular type of oil and is already being sold in all American Wal-Mart stores, in Costa Rica and in other Central American countries. Potential vendor Wal-Mart (Canada) asked for and received reassurance that USSEC supported the marketing of RAGASA products. RAGASA has registered its products for sale in Canada, has successfully agreed to terms on pricing and presentation with Wal-Mart and expects to begin shipping to those stores within the next two to three months.
USSEC’s continued support of the export of U.S. soy into new markets is critical. Canada has emerged as a market with a strong potential for the import of U.S. soy products as that country’s soy market grew from $150 million in 1996 to approximately $350 million recently.
USSEC Japan recently participated in the 18th National Natto Competition Award Ceremony held at Seiyoken in Ueno, Tokyo. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual board meeting of the Japan Natto Cooperative Society Federation in order to present this year’s winner of the Red River Valley U.S. Award with a certificate and plaque.
USSEC Japan, in collaboration with the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), established the Red River Valley U.S. Award in the U.S. Soybean Prize Category of the National Natto Competition in 2011. The award was established to build the total brand value of U.S. soybeans in the Japanese natto industry and helps to ensure the safe and reliable production of crops from the Red River Valley region, which are grown and exported globally under a strict IP system.
David C. Miller, Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, presented the third Red River Valley U.S. Award certificate and plaque to winner Sato Shokuhin Kogyo on behalf of the NFGSA, who were unable to travel to Japan. Mr. Miller also made a congratulatory speech which highlighted U.S. commitment to consistently supply U.S. Soybeans to the natto industry.
Red River Valley U.S. Award winner Sato Shokuhin Kogyo is located in Kagoshima Prefecture. Company president Sato commented after the ceremony, “I am very honored to receive this beautiful plaque from the U.S. soybean industry. Since 2008, I have only used U.S. and domestic soybeans and will continue to use U.S. soybeans.” Sato Shokuhin Kogyo also released information about the two awards that the company received at the 18th National Natto Competition on their website.
USSEC will continue its commitment to the Japanese natto industry. Currently, U.S. soy growers supply 80% of Japan’s natto. The U.S. partnership with the natto industry strengthens U.S. sales and preserves brand loyalty to U.S. soy.
USSEC Korea’s aquaculture utilization contractor In Soo Shin visited eight flounder growers in Jeju to conduct on-site consultations on the benefits of increasing the inclusions of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) in extruded pellet feeds. The objective of these meetings was to increase the flounder growers’ acceptance of soy-based extruded pellet feeds containing SBM and/or SPC as suggested by USSEC. USSEC’s message is that extruded pellet feeds replacing up to 30% of fish meal by SBM and/or SPC (18% in diet) could benefit the growers in terms of sustainable aquaculture, consistency in feed quality and feeding cost. These target audiences are currently participating in the Korean government’s “feed extruded pellet feeds” program to transition the aqua feed market from fish-based moist pellet feeds to protein meal-based extruded pellet feeds. The number of flounder growers who enrolled in the government program has increased to 39 in 2013 from 34 in 2012.
USSEC is conducting a certification program for aqua feed mills and farms that utilize U.S. soybean meal in various Latin American countries. The goal of this program is to maximize the presence of U.S. soy in these producers’ main markets and increase their consumption of U.S. soybean meal. USSEC consultant Jairo Amezquita visited aqua feed mills and shrimp farms in Ecuador to extend an invitation for them to participate in the certification program and to discuss the details and requirements for inclusion in the program. Two aqua feed mills and one shrimp farm have already indicated interest and will begin working with USSEC and a world leader certification service company. A seminar will be conducted in Quito in June to encourage other aqua mills and farms to join the certification program and will detail the benefits of participating in the program.
Ecuador is the largest shrimp producer in the Americas, producing about 240,000 metric tons (MT) of shrimp per year. This translates to annual consumption of more than 400,000 MT of feed and a potential of 160,000 MT for U.S. soybean meal.
USSEC recently visited Dominican importers of soybean oil and soybean oil based fats manufactured in the U.S. to present a promotion plan for these products. Consultant Pedro Gonzalez visited two companies that import U.S. specialty fats and oils for bakery uses and discussed organizing a course for users and potential customers to increase the consumption of U.S. fats and soy ingredients used by bakers in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Gonzalez also visited a major soybean oil refinery in the Dominican and gave recommendations for their upcoming project to increase the plant production capacity of refined soybean oil. The refinery had requested USSEC support for their new plant expansion that will be completed this year.
The exports of crude U.S. soybean oil to the Dominican Republic will focus in 2013 on the development and launching of new products. It is important, therefore, for USSEC to continue with the assistance and promotional activities of U.S. soybean oil.
USSEC continued promoting U.S. soybean meal on its superior amino acid content to local feed mills in Korea via individual meetings. USSEC is encouraging local feed mills to analyze amino acid in all the soybean meal they use to convince them that amino acid content varies by origin.
This past week, USSEC staff met with a poultry nutritionist from Easybio Co., Ltd., one of the top four broiler integrators in Korea. The objective of the meeting was to share amino acid data as analyzed by the Korea Feed Association (KFA) on every vessel load of imported U.S. soybean meal in 2013 and to discuss listing amino acid in quality specification for soybean meal purchasing. According to KFA’s analysis on imported soybean meal samples, U.S. soybean meal contained 22.13-22.31% essential amino acids including 2.88-2.91% Lys and 0.62-0.66% Met. Brazilian soybean meal contained 21.77-21.87% essential amino acid including 2.84-2.85% Lys and 0.59-0.60% Met. The poultry nutritionist of Easybio understood the need to insert amino acid to the quality specification for soybean meal purchasing. Total amino acid, essential amino acid, Lys and Met+ Cys were considered as possible items to be listed in the quality specifications.
In the Central Midwest, the planting season is coming to a close.
Soybeans were planted in this Indiana crop residue.
Mobile technology is spreading rapidly across the ag industry. Now that planting is over some farmers will transfer data collected during planting over to their iPads with the John Deere Mobile Farm Manager App. Now farmers can have maps on hand at all times that show variety, seeding rates, and more.
Soybeans are pretty tough plants. A hard rain on tilled ground can leave a crust when the surface dries. Soybeans can lift quite a lot of weight as they emerge, but another rain is needed to help this field emerge.
As rain kept getting pulled from the forecast this Indiana farm made a decision to get out a tool seldom used anymore, but it’s a tool you definitely want to keep around in case of a situation like this one – a rotary hoe.
In order to get the hoe out of storage, a fork life was used to move several pieces of equipment, including the grain cart.
Iowa’s wettest May on record has delayed soybean planting progress by nearly 50 percent, raising concerns about the crop’s growth, development and maturity. Yet farmers remain hopeful that advancements in genetics, timely decision making and a return to more normal growing conditions will produce a good crop come harvest time.
As of May 28, only 40 percent of the state’s soybean crop had been planted. By this time last year, Iowa soybean farmers had planted 95 percent of their soybean acres. The five-year average is 83 percent.
Read more and see pictures at: https://www.iasoybeans.com/TheBeanBlog/?p=620
USSEC conducted a workshop on purchasing tools for U.S. soymeal clients in the city of Moca in Dominican Republic. During the two day event, topics like agricultural markets, risk management practices and market analysis as means of support of purchasing decision making was presented by USB Director and grower leader Bob Metz, USSEC Regional Director Francisco de la Torre, International Business Development Director Miguel Escobar, and USSEC consultants Gerardo Luna, Carmen Diaz, Pedro Lora and Fradbelin Escarraman.
In addition to the workshop, the USSEC team met with balanced feed manufacturers and customers of U.S. soymeal in Santo Domingo and El Cibao region. They discussed the market’s current situation and perspectives, global grain and oilseed markets, local market conditions and industry competitiveness in the current economic and commercial environments, pricing and contracting practices, as well as sharing about risk management alternatives. The team also visited the USDA office in the Dominican Republic to discuss with the Agricultural Attaché the Dominican agricultural markets and the U.S. agricultural exports into the country.
USSEC conducted two seminars for users of Soybean Meal and Soybean Oil in the Mexican cities of Celaya and Merida. USSEC consultants Pedro Gonzalez, Carlos Campabadal, Alberto Celis and Gerardo Luna conducted the seminars which were organized in conjunction with one of the major crushers in Mexico that processes about one million MT of US soybeans.
The attendees represented major customers of soybean meal in Mexico, such as broiler and egg producers and swine industry leaders, and came from a variety of roles, including nutrition, processing, purchasing and executive decision makers. The seminars featured presentations to about the high quality of U.S. soy and soy products, the use of soy in animal nutrition and food industry, market trends for soybeans, soy products and grains, and risk management for soybeans, meal and oil. The attendees also participated in a practical case study regarding purchasing strategies.
Each seminar was attended by about 50 people. Per Campabadal, “The seminars were an excellent opportunity to establish a direct contact with key customers and learn more about their needs and planning of their operations.”
USSEC hosted a USDA Cochran team consisting of Turkish industry and Parliamentary officials applicable to soy-related industries.
The Cochran Fellowship Program provides participants from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies with high-quality training to improve their local agricultural systems and strengthen and enhance trade links with the United States. Participants are mid- and senior-level professionals from both the public and private sectors who are concerned with agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. Since its start in 1984, the Cochran Fellowship Program has provided training for more than 14,300 participants from 123 countries.
CEO Jim Sutter and USSEC staffers Kim Nill, Ed Beaman, and Elizabeth McLeod (summer intern) hosted presentations to the team and subsequent discussion, which covered the high nutritional quality of U.S.-origin soybeans versus soybeans from other origins, how Turkey’s imports of U.S. soy reached a new record high total in 2012, USSEC and how it interacts with USDA & the soy checkoff, USSEC’s marketing programs in Turkey, and the adverse economic impacts on Turkey’s soy-consuming industries of Turkey’s strict biosafety law. The participants agreed that the biosafety law’s implementation needs to be improved, due to the much larger number of biotech crop events commercially planted in the U.S. than are approved for import in Turkey.
The delegation’s two week stay in the United States started in central Missouri with meetings at the University of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Farm Bureau, and a dairy farm tour. The group continued to St. Louis where they met with Monsanto, toured a grain elevator and held the USSEC meetings. The delegation then traveled to Washington D.C., where they met with FAS, American Farm Bureau, National Livestock Producers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, and the U.S. Grains Council.
USSEC’s Indonesia was invited to participate in the national television program “The Eight Eleven Show” to discuss tempe and soybeans. The “Eight Eleven Show”, as the name implies, is a live talk show that airs daily on Metro TV from at 8 AM to 11 AM Monday through Friday. The program is divided into three sessions covering three different topics, about 60 minutes each, interspersed with interludes of music and entertainment.
Tempe was the topic of discussion at the second session and Dadi Maskar, USSEC’s Indonesian Food Program Manager, was the guest, representing Indonesian Tempe Forum. Also on hand from the Indonesian Tempe Forum was Chef Hidayat, who gave a live culinary demonstration on cooking with tempe. Tempe is a traditional fermented soybean dish unique to Indonesia and is consumed by millions as a staple source of protein in the diet. It is made by thousands of small family producers throughout the country and normally produced in bars of eight to twelve inches long.
During the program, Maskar explained the mission of the Indonesian Tempe Forum and its role in providing education to raise tempe production standards and improve the image of tempe among Indonesia’s consumers. Chef Hidayat demonstrated the preparation of three menus derived from tempe: tempe juice, tempe srikaya dessert and martabak. The show’s host and guest stars all tasted the tempe dishes and were impressed on how original, creative and delicious they all were.
With a population of over 240 million, fifth in size worldwide, soybean consumption in Indonesia is among the highest in Southeast Asia at 25 lbs per capita, primarily in the form of tempe and tofu. This tempe project is part of a larger USSEC program to stimulate growth in consumption by improving production facilities and quality of tempe and tempe products in order to raise the image of tempe as a safe and healthy food. In 2012, Indonesia was America’s 3rd largest customer for U.S. soybeans, importing over 1.7 million metric tons (63 million bushels).
On the heels of the Vessel Comparison Study (VCS) conducted at the Tacoma Export Marketing Company (TEMCO) in Seattle / Tacoma last February and March, U.S. and Chinese inspection teams met again in China to complete the collection of soybean samples for grading and testing on MV Lady Marite, the first soybean vessel to undergo this study.
The U.S. team traveled to the unloading ports in Zhoushan and Zhangjiagang, led by Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Beijing Agricultural Attaché Melinda Meador and joined by representatives from USSEC, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), and North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA). At these ports, the U.S. team witnessed the Chinese inspection and quarantine process on imported soybeans and visited Chinese labs for sample testing and analysis. The U.S. team also probed samples at different levels in the vessel holds at the destinations together with their Chinese counterparts, exchanging views on quality and quarantine issues. A wrap-up meeting was held to discuss the findings, next steps and proposals for better implementation of the memorandums of understanding between China’s Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). During the meeting, the Chinese inspection and quarantine officers, led by Mr. Huang Yajun, AQSIQ Director of Animal and Plant Division, expressed serious concerns on quality and quarantine issues such as treated seeds, weed seeds, chemical residues, and foreign materials, as well as unapproved biotech events in the American soybean shipment.
The goal of this joint inspection program is to reach a mutual understanding between the inspection and quarantine agencies of both countries, to reach consensus on technical issues, and to remove current and potential technical barriers to soybean trade with China. USSEC China Country Director Zhang Xiaoping, and Marketing Program Assistant Zeng Yantian participated in this activity to work with the Chinese and U.S. inspection teams on the comparison study and to represent the interests of U.S. soy.
Late last month, a select group of chefs and foodservice publication editors got a close-up look at “aquaculture done right,” as they described it, thanks to a new educational campaign sponsored by the International Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
The group of four chefs and three editors learned about the complete hatch-to-harvest process for the sustainable aquaculture of soy-fed white bass and hybrid striped bass. After touring the hatchery at Hubbs Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI) in Carlsbad, California, the group traveled to Todos Santos Island off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, to view the offshore grow-out operation at Pacifico Aquaculture.
The chefs and editors, including John Lawn of Food Management magazine, Gayle Bellamy of Restaurant Hospitality magazine, and Mary Petersen from the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFE), were impressed by the extensive feed research U.S. soy farmers are funding through the soy checkoff program managed by the United Soybean Board (USB).
Mark Drawbridge, Aquaculture Program Director at HSWRI, explained to the group how the soy checkoff program has catalyzed and accelerated the development of a commercially viable soy-based diet in just a few short years.
“The outcomes to date are significant for the long term economic and environmental sustainability of marine finfish aquaculture,” said Drawbridge, “It shows what is possible when people focus on science-based solutions to human food production challenges.”
After touring Pacifico Aquaculture’s offshore pens, white bass were harvested especially for the chefs to experiment with culinary preparations in the farm’s rustic kitchen. The group then enjoyed dining on a light and spicy ceviche made by Chef Eric Dreyer, Chef de Cuisine at Fearing’s Restaurant, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dallas; a rich fish and vegetable stew created by Rex Hale, Corporate Executive Chef at LHM Hotels in St. Louis; and hybrid striped bass sashimi with a variety of dipping sauces prepared by Rex Ito, co-owner of Pacifico Aquaculture.
“After seeing how these fish are raised and hearing about all the research involved, it really hit me when I tasted this fresh fish that there’s absolutely no difference in quality between farmed and wild fish,” said Jasper Mirabile, Jr., head of Jasper’s Restaurant Group in Kansas City, Missouri. “I would immediately look for ways to feature soy-fed fish on my menus in Kansas City.”
Corporate Chef Ray Berman, who leads menu development work for 100 locations of CraftWorks Restaurants, said his biggest takeaway from the tour is the fact that fisheries cannot meet the demand for seafood of a growing world population in the coming decades.
“Aquaculture is the future,” said Berman. “It’s interesting that the species being farmed now are more economically feasible. This local white bass has a feed conversion ratio of 1.25:1, compared to tuna at 17:1. Aquaculture is getting much smarter economically, and is addressing environmental concerns and focusing on sustainability.”
Dr. Michael Cremer, International Aquaculture Senior Program Advisor for USSEC, encouraged the chefs and editors to help educate their customers, readers and colleagues on the benefits that soy-fed fish offered to the foodservice industry, including high quality product, consistent supply and pricing, and the conservation of wild ocean resources.
USSEC member Owensboro Grain Company was recently featured in the Owensboro (KY) Messenger-Inquirer in an article titled “Diversifying Key to Owensboro Grain’s Success.”
Owensboro Grain is a 107-year-old family-run business which has evolved into a diversified soybean processing and grain merchandising company. The company was founded in 1906 when founder Henry E. O’Bryan bought ears of corn from farmers and sold them to the bourbon industry. By the 1950s, the second generation saw soybeans as an opportunity for further growth. Soybean extraction seemed a natural progression in the 1960s and 70s with the defatted soybean oil primarily sold to the dairy industry. The vision was further expanded as crushing capacity rose from 100 tons to 1,200 tons per day. (Currently, Owensboro Grain’s crushing capacity is 4,000 tons per day or 40 million bushels per year.) There was a point, however, in the late 1970s and early 80s that the family considered leaving the crushing business. The more than 140 crushing companies dropped to just 13 and many of the independent, family-run businesses closed. According to executive vice president and 4th generation family business member John Wright, the family made a strategic decision to stay in the crushing business for the long haul and today is the last family-owned soy crusher left.
In 1985, Owensboro Grain began producing soymeal to export overseas. In 1990, a refinery was built to refine the company’s own crude oil along with the construction of a plant to produce soy lecithin. The company now produces 20 million pounds of lecithin a year, accounting for 20% of the U.S. supply. In the 21st century, the company began producing biodiesel from soybeans, leading to the construction of a biodiesel plant. In the process of making biodiesel, glycerin is formed, which will lead to the September opening of a glycerin refinery, opening possibilities of sales to the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.
In 2013, Owensboro Grain expects to produce 800,000 tons of soybean meal, 75 million gallons of soybean oil, 20 million pounds of lecithin, 50 million gallons of biodiesel and an anticipated 42 million pounds of glycerin. The company credits its longevity to its ability to be flexible within the U.S. soy industry.
USSEC Animal Utilization (AU) technical director Dr. Richard Han recently met with formulators from Harim Co., Ltd., the largest broiler integrator in Korea, and representatives from its family feed mill Jeil Feed Co., Ltd. The purpose of the meetings was to update the formulators about nutrient analysis data on every vessel load of imported soybean meal (SBM) into Korea since January 2013 with an emphasis on amino acid. Korean feed mills imported SBM from the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Vietnam this year.
Dr. Han emphasized the comparative amount of essential amino acids, such as Lysine (Lys) and Methionine (Met), in U.S. SBM. According to the data analyzed by the Korea Feed Association, U.S. SBM provided 2.88-2.91% Lys and 0.62-0.66% Met while Brazilian soybean meal provided 2.84-2.85% Lys and 0.59-0.60% Met. Dr. Han asked the formulators to estimate the comparative economic value of U.S. soybean meal over Brazilian soybean meal in their broiler feeds formulation. This part of the process helped develop consensus between Harim’s formulators and its purchasing staff regarding the comparative economic value of U.S. SBM over Brazilian SBM based on amino acid content. USSEC’s ultimate goal is for purchasing staff to place more emphasis on amino acids when purchasing SBM.
USSEC conducted a soy and feed roundtable in Shanghai. At this time, the Chinese livestock and feed industries are facing increasing market challenges wrought by human infection of the H7N9 avian influenza (AI) virus and the disposal of dead pigs into the river system in the Yangtze River delta region. A total of 55 participants from soybean crushing and trading companies, feed mills, and livestock production companies attended this event to discuss the current soy and feed market situation.
The South American soybean season began with many delivery delays due to severe port congestion in Brazil, causing a shortage to China’s soybean supply. This situation drove prices higher, which in turn was tempered by food safety issues associated with the pig carcasses in the river system coupled with human infection of the AI virus in the East China provinces. Causes of the disease are still unknown; warnings have been given, nevertheless, to the public to stay away from live birds. Consumption of pork and poultry products has fallen drastically in the Yangtze River Delta region.
USSEC China Country Director Zhang Xiaoping, together with invited speakers from JC Intelligence, Cargill and Wells Fargo, discussed the global soybean supply along with demand and trade facilitation. The roundtable proved to be a valuable platform for the soy value chain to meet and share information at this critical time for market direction. USSEC Marketing Manager Claudia Chong, AU Technical Director Richard Han, Aquaculture Program Manager Jim Zhang and other USSEC staff attended the event. Roundtable participants reported that both feed and soybean meal sales were down 30% in March as compared to the same period last year. Market analysts, however, have a favorable view of the future market given the steadiness of soy planting acreage and a favorable weather outlook in the U. S, while China’s poultry production should recover from low inventory numbers in the next one to two months. Participants predicted an increase of 15-20% in aquaculture feed to produce more fish and other aquatic products, given the current situation.