USSEC SE Asia hosted the 19th annual Regional Feed Technology and Nutrition Workshop (FTNW) June 3-7 in Bangkok, Thailand, drawing 125 participants. Over the past 21 years, this program has become one of the premier technical events in SE Asia and continues to receive resounding support from the region’s feed and livestock industry.
This year’s theme was “Maximizing the Value of Feed Ingredients in Today’s High Prices”. The program sessions were constructed around topics dealing with the market forces affecting feed ingredient supply and cost; maximizing value in feed manufacturing technologies; maximizing the intrinsic value of ingredient components such as protein; assessing the value of energy effectiveness and management; and control of value damaging mycotoxins. Breakout workshop sessions included an extruder demonstration, a feed formulation workshop, a presentation on waste management and a hands-on mycotoxin laboratory session. The four day program concluded with a field trip to a feed equipment manufacturing company.
The program was funded by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and opening remarks were provided by South Dakota USB Director and U.S. soybean farmer, Bob Metz. This year’s line-up of speakers who included Dr. Jean Noblet, INRA France; Dr. Ravi Ravindran, Massey University, New Zealand; Dr. Hans Stein, University of Illinois; Dr. Robert Thaller, South Dakota State University; Dr. Robert Swick, New England University, Australia; Dr. Uthai Kanto, Kasetsart University, Thailand; and Dr. Rommel Sulabo, University of the Philippines Los Banos.
Farmer leaders and staff of USSEC, the American Soy Association (ASA) and United Soybean Board (USB) visited China from April 6-10 on a biotech mission. At the time of this trip, China had not granted approval of new biotech events for over 17 months, including 19 soybean, corn, canola, or cotton events waiting for approval, 10 of which had already been fully evaluated for safety and were merely waiting for final approval from China’s Agricultural Minister. Many of these traits had already received approval from other countries.
Objectives of the trip were to meet with key Chinese stakeholders, U.S. government officials and Chinese government officials to gain a better understanding of the delay in Chinese approvals of importing new biotech products for food and feed products and to meet with key Chinese government agencies and officials to discuss the effects of delayed and slow Chinese regulatory approvals on Chinese and global food security as well as on trade.
This week, USSEC and ASA received word that the government approved three types of genetically modified soybeans for import to China. A full report will be made once details are confirmed by the USDA.
China is U.S. soy’s largest international customer, importing 849 million bushels of whole U.S. soybeans in the most recent marketing year. USSEC will persist in its efforts to increase biotech acceptance in China to continue the access of U.S. soy to key global markets.
USSEC sponsored and participated in the FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation) Congress held in Kraków, Poland from June 5-8. The theme of this year’s congress was “Staying Profitable in Volatile Times.”
USB Chair Jim Stillman introduced the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol to conference attendees. The U.S. Soy Protocol will provide this assurance based on U.S. environmental laws and regulations in addition to the conservation practices of U.S. soy farmers. Various European countries are seeking to purchase 100 percent certified sustainable soy by 2015. Several industry purchasers requested additional information about the U.S. Soy Protocol following Mr. Stillman’s presentation.
ASA Vice President Bob Worth spoke on risk management techniques that U.S. farmers use in increasingly volatile markets. Mr. Worth noted that he sells a portion of his crop and buys inputs up to three years in advance to lock in profit opportunities – a fact that was surprising to many participants.
In addition to Mr. Stillman and Mr. Worth, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter; Director of Global Issues and Alliances Brent Babb; and Acting Greater EU Regional Director and International Feed Marketing & Governance Director Ed Beaman also participated in the FEFAC conference and visited local feed industry facilities in Poland. Poland is the largest EU-27 U.S. soymeal customer this marketing year.
USSEC recently participated in the XVI International Pork Congress and Show in Peru, organized by the Peruvian Swine Producers Association. USSEC consultant Julio Chaves spoke to attendees on the importance of improving harvest floors under Peru’s new regulations. Because the regulations have recently changed, the pork industry will need to strengthen its efforts to comply with the new regulations to continue its relevance in the international pork market. Mr. Chaves gave a second lecture on methods of producing quality pork.
Mr. Chaves was also invited to visit the largest swine harvest plant in Peru to provide technical assistance on topics related to fulfilling the new Peruvian regulations. He inspected a plant and provided recommendations to improve the plant’s production processes. Pork producers in Peru will continue to require additional USSEC assistance in order to face new commerce threats, which will be reflected in an increase of U.S. soybean meal consumption.
USSEC recently visited Guatemala to provide technical assistance in feed formulation, development of feeding programs and nutritional recommendations to animal producers in Guatemala. USSEC consultant Carlos Campabadal also conducted four seminars in the area of feed manufacturing for the largest feed mill group in Central America. The group produces more than 1.2 million metric tons (MT) of feed per year.
While visiting these farms, Mr. Campabadal discussed feeding systems, formulations using digestible amino acids, forage programs, the use of supplemental soybean meal and soybean oil to improve horse performance, the use of dairy feed, the importance of a good quality U.S. soybean meal in all types of dairy feeds, and gave management recommendations. At the feed mill, Mr. Campabadal also reviewed swine, dairy and horse diets, as well as the factors affecting pellet quality.
Four seminars were also held on USSEC’s behalf during this trip. Two of the workshops were related to horse feed, while the others covered dairy nutrition and factors affecting pellet quality. All of these conferences emphasized the importance of using high quality U.S. soybean meal, as well as the development of feeding programs, the use of high quality feed and many other important animal nutrition topics.
USSEC recently hosted a roundtable targeting flounder growers in Jeju who enrolled in the Korean government’s program to change feeds to protein meal-based extruded pellet (EP) from fish-based moist pellet (MP) feed. 17 flounder growers were present including 16 from 29 target audiences invited by USSEC. Attendees also included eight representatives from local fish-culture fisheries cooperatives; along with representatives from the Daebong LF aqua feed mill, a fisheries-related institute and community members.
Three main topics were discussed at this roundtable. USSEC Aquaculture Utilization contractor In Soo Shin led a discussion on the benefits of increasing the inclusions of soybean meal (SBM) and/or soy protein concentrate (SPC) in EP feeds in terms of sustainable feed supply and reduced feeding costs. Hae Won Kang, a grower from Haewon Fisheries, spoke about the performances, fillet quality and feeding costs of flounder raised on EP. Finally, Pyong Kih Kim, Professor at Gangwon Provincial College, presented a diagnosis on the causes of high mortality rate in flounder and suggestions to reduce mortality rate.
A consensus was reached that growers who switch to EP tend to give more feeds than required because of their being accustomed to MP feeding practice, which could cause disease, but that EP reduces labor by 50%. USSEC will also continue to examine the need for researchers to increase the inclusions of SBM and/or SPC in EP feeds to reduce feeding costs by 20-30% and will monitor movements to ban the use of genetically modified soybeans in feeds.
USSEC held the 7th Asia Grain Transportation Conference on May 19-21 at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia. This year’s conference drew 120 participants, representing over 75 companies involved in all aspects of agribusiness from across the Southeast Asia region. The goal of the conference was to continue the development of a knowledgeable customer base that is aware of the advantages of importing soy products from the U.S. in terms of better quality, efficient handling and logistics, and reliable counterparties. The theme of the event was “Gaining a Competitive Edge in Agribusiness.”
Initial feedback from this year’s participants has been very positive as attendees found the topics and presentations interesting and relevant to their work. The event also addressed many of the concerns currently faced by the industry. USSEC Chairman Randy Mann spoke on the subject of U.S. 2014 soybean crop prospects. Other presentations gave an overview of grain and wheat, but the conference mainly focused on topics of grain logistics and port development in addition to freight outlook on container and bulk shipments of agricultural products. Workshops on price and risk management, procurement strategies, understanding trade contracts, and maintaining quality of agri-products in containers were also featured. The two-day conference provided participants with the latest insights and expert opinions on the market.
USSEC will continue to establish itself as a well-known and respected entity among Southeast Asian agricultural communities. Programs such as this help importers and end-users of soy products to associate the benefits and assistance from USSEC activities as a major incentive to import U.S. soy.
USSEC conducted the 8th Southeast Asia Soy Foods Seminar and Trade Show at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia on May 22-23. Soy food and beverage producers, U.S. food grade soybean and soy ingredient suppliers, regional soy food bean buyers and traders, soy related associations and representatives of academic and government institutions representing various soy food related interests and technologies all gathered in Bali to attend and participate in this event.
Host country Indonesia’s traditional tempe took the spotlight. Tempe is a locally-produced, fermented soy food consumed by millions of Indonesians. The two-day event was officially opened by the Vice Governor of Bali, with the keynote address delivered by the Indonesian Vice Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises. The conference offered presentations and panel discussions by a wealth of speakers from around the world to talk about the global soy market, trends in consumer demand, challenges and opportunities facing the soy food industry, as well as recent studies on soy nutrition and health.
The program was supported with a series of smaller workshops and oral presentations of papers related to consumer perception of soy and marketing approaches, understanding risk management strategies to purchase food grade soybeans, recent research in soy and efforts on upgrading production in the traditional manufacturing of Indonesian tempe. Tempe cooking demonstrations were provided during lunch breaks and short listed contestants competed in a Java-wide tempe cooking contest.
The trade show was organized and conducted by USSEC Southeast Asia. The Indiana Soybean Alliance provided primary funding for the program, with additional sponsors and cooperating collaborators including the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council; the North Dakota Soybean Council; the North Dakota Trade Office; the Kentucky Soybean Board; the National Soybean Research Laboratories; SunOpta; TetraPak; Indofood / Frito-Lay; the Soy Nutrition Institute; the Indonesian Tempe forum; the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association; and Udayana University in Bali.
The Southeast Asian soy food industry consumes around 3.5 million metric tons (MT) of raw soybeans, mostly in the form of traditional soy foods such as tempe, tofu, soy beverages, and soy sauce. Approximately 80% of these traditional soy foods are consumed in Indonesia. Thailand is the second largest per capita consumer of soy beverages behind China, with Malaysia ranked fifth and Vietnam in the eighth spot. Soybean production in the region has been declining as farmers move to more profitable cash crops, which has led to an increased demand for imported soybeans. The U.S. has become a major supplier to fill this vacuum.
USSEC hosted the 3rd U.S. Soy Supply Workshop in Manila, Philippines on May 16-17. The workshop drew over sixty local soy importers, accounting for one million metric tons (MT) of soybean meal (SBM) and 40,000 MT of soybeans. The event also brought together a mix of livestock raisers, feed millers, integrators and local traders of feed ingredients.
The U.S. soy-centric workshop focused on six key subjects: Strategic Overview of the Soy Market; Efficiencies in the U.S. Grain Transportation System; Understanding the Market Fundamentals for Agriculture; Maintaining the Quality of U.S. Soy Products in Containerized Shipments; Ocean Freight Market Outlook; and Risk Management Strategies. Two separate workshops were conducted across the two day event: an open invitation event and an in-house workshop specifically for San Miguel Foods Inc., the largest food conglomerate in the Philippines.
Globally, the Philippines is the largest customer of U.S. SBM outside of North America and imported roughly 900,000 MT of SBM in 2012 for an approximate 60% market share. The objective of the U.S. Soy Supply Workshop Series is to provide essential information needed by importers and end-users in order to purchase their soy requirements from the U.S. This workshop is an important marketing program that supports the overall utilization efforts by USSEC Southeast Asia.
Farmers know their ground and production systems the best, so who better to provide information about weed management than folks on the front lines. The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), along with Ken Anderson of Brownfield Ag News for America, visited six farms in every region of Iowa this spring to learn about weed problems and management solutions. Learn what tactics were discussed to mitigate the problem in the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way:
Planting has been done for over a week now so farmers are focused on tending to the growing crop.
Tillage equipment is being washed and prepped for storage.
Soybeans are already beginning to emerge through the cover crop residue!
(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.