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USSEC News

USSEC Promotes U.S. SBM on Superior Amino Acid Content to Korean Broiler Integrator

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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.

CENTRAL MIDWEST – An Indiana farm in pictures – 05.25.2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Category General News 
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…

In the Central Midwest, the planting season is coming to a close.

Soybeans were planted in this Indiana crop residue.

Planting into Cereal Rye

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.

John Deere Mobile Farm Manager

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.

Soybeans Emergin

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.

Rotary Hoe Tines

After use, the hoe is folded for transport.
John Deere 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.

Unverferth Grain Cart

 

IOWA – Wet weather halts planting in Iowa

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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 Conducts Workshop on Purchasing Tools and Provided Trade Assistance in Dominican Republic

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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,…

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.

Soymeal customers attending the workshop on purchasing tools in Dominican Republic

USSEC Conducted Seminars for Users of Soybean Meal and Soybean Oil in Mexico

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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,…

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 consultant Carlos Campabadal giving a lecture on Animal Nutrition in the SBM seminar in Merida

USSEC Hosts USDA Cochran Team from Turkey

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC hosted a USDA Cochran team consisting of Turkish industry and Parliamentary officials applicable to soy-related industries. The Cochran Fellowship Program…

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 Indonesia Participates in TV Talk Show

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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).

Dady Maskar and Aip Syariffudin, Chairman of GAKOPTI (Indonesian Joint Cooperative Producers Tempe Tofu), at the Eight Eleven Show.

Inaugural U.S.-China Vessel Comparison Study Continues in China

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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.

U.S. FGIS inspector Raymond Kirkpatrick (middle) is shown in discussion with Chinese CIQ inspectors at Zhangjiagang port.

Chefs Get First-Hand Look at Sustainable Farming of Soy-fed Fish

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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 Showcased in Feature Article

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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.”…

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.

https://www.messenger-inquirer.com/news/local/article_e4346ed4-9a5b-57a8-ad0f-a5faeb9af047.html

USSEC Shares Analysis Data to Better Assist Formulators and Purchasing Staff to Evaluate Comparative Value of U.S. SBM

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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.

Chinese Demand for SBM Will Increase Despite Lingering Food Safety Concerns

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category General News 
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…

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.

Mr. Zhang Xiaoping, USSEC China Country Director, and guest speakers Mr. Zhou of Cargill China (right at the head table) and Ms. Luo (center at the head table) are in the Q&A session

Year To Date Exports – 05/16/2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category Market Information 
(as of May 16, 2013) Soybeans: Metric tons: 34.6 million Bushels: 1,272.7 million Soy Meal: Metric tons: 7.5 million Bushel equivalents: 275.0 million Soy Oil: Metric…

(as of May 16, 2013)

Soybeans:
Metric tons: 34.6 million
Bushels: 1,272.7 million

Soy Meal:
Metric tons: 7.5 million
Bushel equivalents: 275.0 million

Soy Oil:
Metric tons: 776,200
Bushel Equivalents: 28.5 million

Totals:
Metric tons: 42.9 million
Bushel Equivalents: 1.57 billion

India Sets Zero Tariff on Oil Meal Imports Signaling Willingness to Open Up Trade

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category General News 
The  Government of India announced May 22 that it is suspending tariffs on oil meals, including soymeal and oil cakes.  Though not currently a significant market…

The  Government of India announced May 22 that it is suspending tariffs on oil meals, including soymeal and oil cakes.  Though not currently a significant market for U.S. soy, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter believes this is a welcome sign of market development potential for U.S. soy exports to the soy-producing country.  

Indian imports of edible oil are on the rise.  In 2011-2012, India imported a record 10.19 million tons (MT) of vegetable oil, a significant increase over previous years.  The Food and Finance Ministries of India believe that lowering custom duties will create stable prices for consumers.

With national elections scheduled for next year,  the political environment in India is influencing policies on food safety, food security, and international trade.  According to the World Food Programme, India incorporates 25 percent of the world’s hungry and poor population, where more than 70 percent of children are malnourished and about 10 million or more people die of chronic hunger or hunger-related diseases every year.  India’s government has struggled to address its food security crisis, but is now showing more urgency to pass legislation and to explore policies to curb food prices and improve the quality of life of India citizens. USSEC staff and industry advisors believe the time is right for policy reforms and USSEC has shifted its focus in India toward preparing for future Indian soy import needs rather strictly promoting soy utilization.

USSEC Participates in Roundtable with Secretary Vilsack in Mexico City

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC participated in an exclusive roundtable in Mexico City on May 17.  The focus of discussion was the importance of the food and agricultural trade as an engine of economic…

USSEC participated in an exclusive roundtable in Mexico City on May 17.  The focus of discussion was the importance of the food and agricultural trade as an engine of economic growth.  USSEC was represented by USSEC Director of Americas Region Francisco de la Torre.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met privately before the roundtable with Mexican Agriculture Secretary Enrique Martinez y Martinez in Secretary Vilsack’s first official visit to Mexico under the new Mexican administration.  Secretary Vilsack’s goals for this visit were to build a relationship with Secretary Martinez and to proactively identify potential issues with food production.  Secretaries Vilsack and Martinez defined three major challenges for the U.S. and Mexico’s food and agricultural trade:  to continue to feed the world; the need to increase agricultural productivity as much in the next 40 years as in the last 10,000; and the need to increase productivity under the specter of climate change.  Both secretaries agreed that more collaboration between the two governments is crucial.  Mexico is the largest market in the Americas for U.S. exports and one of the U.S.’s largest trading partners.

Participants of the roundtable were Jose Manuel Arana, President, Mexican Operations, Tyson de Mexico; Mario Stata, General Manager, Mexican Operations, Driscoll’s; Valeria Olson, Director, Governmental Affairs, Cargill Mexico; Luis Musi, Vice President, Sigma Alimentos; Alfonso Cebrebros, Director, Government Relations, Gruma; Eugenio Leal, Director of Agricultural Businesses, Union Pacific de Mexico; Ricardo de Abreu Souza, President and Director General, Ingredion; and David Hernandez, Chief Procurement Officer, Grupo Bimbo.   Representing USDA operations were Mitch Skalicky, Regional Vice President, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW); Alejandro Monteagudo, Executive Director, AgroBio Mexico; and USSEC’s Francisco de la Torre.  Representing the U.S. Embassies in Mexico City and Washington, D. C. were Anthony Wayne, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Mexico City; Max Holtzman, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP); Suzanne Heinen, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS); Dan Berman, Minister Counselor, Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS); and Brian Goggin, Director, FAS, Agricultural Trade Office.

Topics discussed at the roundtable were biotechnology and sustainability; U.S. exports of poultry and eggs and Mexico’s desire for reciprocity in those areas; the immigration bill and the importance of the temporary worker program; the need to create homogenous processes to speed up trade; implementation of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program; the Farm Bill; biofuels mandates; and the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Mr. de la Torre represented the interests of U.S. soy and spoke to the group about USSEC’s role in food and agricultural trade.  He specifically discussed the High Impact Program.  Mr. de la Torre also met privately with the representatives from Grupo Maseca, which produces 80% of Mexico’s corn tortillas, and Grupo Bimbo, which has the largest market share of breads and wheat tortillas, to discuss the supplementation of tortillas with soy protein.

Sec. Tom Vilsack, Amb. Anthony Wayne, Minister Counselor Dan Berman, Mitch Skalicky (U.S. Wheat Associates, Mexico), Francisco de la Torre (U.S. Soybean Export Council), and David Hernandez (Grupo Bimbo)

USSEC is Optimistic with Results of India’s First Buyers – Sellers Meet

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC hosted the first national level commercial meeting for marketing opportunities in India at the Radisson Hotel in Indore from May 2-4.  The buyers – sellers meet…

USSEC hosted the first national level commercial meeting for marketing opportunities in India at the Radisson Hotel in Indore from May 2-4.  The buyers – sellers meet was convened in the backdrop of increasing domestic consumption and concerns of domestic availability, rising prices and other trade related issues.  USSEC stressed the importance of bringing together all partners in the soy value chain to deliberate emerging issues and concerns in order to develop solutions leading to sustainable growth in domestic soy consumption.  Indian stakeholders no longer consider soybeans to be an oilseed crop, but now largely recognize soy as a protein crop intended to provide wholesome food and feed products at affordable prices.  Soybean meal and defatted soy flour are now considered co-products and not by-products of soy processing.

Approximately 110 feed utilization members from throughout India came to seek solutions on soy for their business operations and take away tools for raw material management.  National feed interests were represented by influential companies such as the Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association (CLFMA), National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) and several large soy buyers such as Suguna Foods, Ananda Fisheries and Venkys.  The major meal utilization sectors (broiler, layer and aquaculture), which collectively comprise about 4 million metric tons (MMT) annually, were also well-represented at the two-day event.  The opportunity for feed representatives to interface with top crushers in addition to leading traders facilitated valuable networking opportunities throughout these meetings.  Discussions with India’s feed utilization members helped create a clearer understanding on expectations of S&D, quality concerns, tools required for managing raw materials in the future, and further opportunities.  Utilizing soy will help feed representatives run animal production businesses successfully and in a sustained manner.

The USSEC team facilitated talks strengthening trade linkages between buyers and sellers with the expectation of leading to sound market development pathways in the future.  The views of the country’s leading trade organizations further added to the interactions and understanding of the soy complex in India.  These trade associations recognized the domestic potential and made recommendations to sellers to explore this potential sector and use it to sustain their businesses.

There was a significant shift in the focus of all stakeholders from crush for oil and export of soybean meal (SBM) to crush for meal and increased domestic consumption.  Virtually all participants spoke of the need to enhance the quality of soymeal to be able to utilize more SBM in further value-added products.  Investment interest ranged from the feasibility of producing high value ingredients such as soy protein isolates and concentrates to textured soy proteins, as well as marketing high quality food grade defatted soy flour.  Near unanimity was seen with the various stakeholders in relation to the soy balance sheet as well as with future projections of domestic utilization of soy in India.

Feedback from large processors was unambiguous in relation to the future growth and market access of value-added soy foods.  These processors are actively seeking engagement with USSEC resources to assist with capacity and trade building processes.  Utilization food companies have long seen the need to improve the quality specifications of soy flour to meet the user industry needs.  ITC, the largest user of defatted soy flour for fortification of wheat flour, indicated that the utilization of soy flour in multigrain flour could double if the quality of soy flour is improved. The crushers / sellers appreciated the market needs for quality products and assured that they would make necessary improvements to soy flour as soon as possible.  Similar discussions took place between Dal Analogue producers and large institutional consumers such as school meal providers to partner together for delivering better protein nutrition at affordable prices.

USSEC is very pleased with the discussion initiated at this inaugural buyers – sellers meet.  The meetings provided an appropriate platform for stakeholder conversations and were conducive for frank deliberations between all partners to arrive at solutions for accomplishing sustainable domestic consumption through value-added soy food and feed products.

USSEC Marks U.S. Senate’s Passage of Water Resources Development Act

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC is pleased to announce the overwhelming passage of the Water Resources Development Act by the U.S. Senate on May 15.  This waterway legislation promotes investment…

USSEC is pleased to announce the overwhelming passage of the Water Resources Development Act by the U.S. Senate on May 15.  This waterway legislation promotes investment in America’s critical water resources infrastructure, accelerates project delivery and reforms the implementation of Corps of Engineers Projects.  This bill is the first step in upgrading the nation’s waterways, a critical step for the U.S. soy industry.

According to USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, waterway legislation will continue to assist farmers in moving soy products efficiently and quickly:  “In a global economy, the bottom line is that our members must be able to move product efficiently.  U.S. soy has distinguished itself from its competitors by being reliable and on time.”  Mr. Sutter continues, “We are optimistic that the U.S. House will quickly pass this bill and the much-needed improvements to our nation’s waterways will begin.”

USSEC Promotes the Use of Soybean Oil in Costa Rican and Guatemalan Food Industry

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC recently provided technical assistance to the food industries of Costa Rica and Guatemala.  USSEC consultant Pedro Gonzalez visited seven companies in Costa…

USSEC recently provided technical assistance to the food industries of Costa Rica and Guatemala.  USSEC consultant Pedro Gonzalez visited seven companies in Costa Rica that produce snacks and fast food using soybean oil from a Costa Rican refinery.  During these visits, he gave recommendations on the frying process using soybean oil and also assisted a fast food chain to overcome a problem with the quality of its fried tortilla chips.  During a call on a fried food manufacturer that currently uses other edible oils for its products, Mr. Gonzalez conducted a practical demonstration by frying some products using soybean oil to demonstrate the higher quality of the snacks when using this oil as well as the better performance and yield of soybean oil over other edible oils.

In Guatemala, Mr. Gonzalez visited the leading soybean oil refinery.  The refinery is preparing a new marketing plan to increase the market share for its brand of soybean oil, and he worked with the marketing department to prepare the new plan which will include the development of a new bottle and new label designs.  USSEC will continue its collaboration with this refinery over the next few months in its plans to increase market share for soybean oil in Central America.

Foods fried with soybean oil in the frying demonstration conducted by USSEC consultant Pedro Gonzalez.

USSEC Sponsors, Will Attend FEFAC Congress in Kraków

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC will be a gold sponsor of the 26th FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation) Congress, which will take place in Kraków, Poland from June 5-8 at the Qubus Hotel…

USSEC will be a gold sponsor of the 26th FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation) Congress, which will take place in Kraków, Poland from June 5-8 at the Qubus Hotel Kraków.  The theme of this year’s congress is “Staying Profitable in Volatile Times.”

Sharon Covert, USSEC Vice Chair and USB Director, will participate on a discussion panel focusing on the topic “Feed Volatility and Competiveness of the EU Livestock Sector—A Curse or a Boon for the European Feed Industry?”

USSEC Sponsors, Participating in Gafta Trade & Trends Conference in Geneva

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Category General News 
USSEC is a gold sponsor for the Gafta Trade & Trends Conference, which is taking place from May 15-17 at the Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland.  The…

USSEC is a gold sponsor for the Gafta Trade & Trends Conference, which is taking place from May 15-17 at the Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland.  The Grain and Feed Trade Association (Gafta) is an international trade association with over 1400 members in 86 countries worldwide. 

The organization’s goal is to promote international trade in agricultural communities and to protect the interests of its members worldwide.  The conference is aimed at gathering industry leaders, regulators, policy makers and other key stakeholders from around the world to discuss both specific trade issues and further trends.

The interests of U.S. soy will be represented at this meeting.  USB Farmer Director Nancy Kavazanjian will give a speech titled “U.S. Soy and Sustainability—The Way Forward.”