The feed and livestock industries of the European Union and Russian Federation depend on U.S. soybean farmers to maintain a consistent supply of soybean meal. Currently, countries from these regions are the second largest U.S. soy importer. In order to assist customers and develop the markets in this area, USSEC focused on this region by implementing several activities in 2015.
The Spanish feed industry is one of U.S. Soy’s leading customers and an excellent example for developing industries from Central and Eastern Europe. The total annual industry feed compound production in Spain is 21 million tons, plus over 8 million produced by the home mixing sector. Pig feed production accounts for over 45 percent of the total, while poultry is at 31 percent and cattle consume 24 percent of the feed produced in Spain. According to the latest estimates, Spain’s position as the leading EU country in terms of total compound feed was strengthened during 2015, putting it in second place of EU’s 28 feed producing countries.
The Spanish feed sector uses various sources of proteins, mainly soy. Because of fierce competition today in meat production, the Spanish feed sector is forced to be more and more competitive. Quality of protein sources plays a vital role in maximizing the performance of animals at this stage and in the near future. This is expected to generate an increase in high quality proteins, especially U.S. Soy use in animal feed. In this regard, Spain continues to be one of the top three EU destinations for U.S. Soy exports. For the last months of 2015 year, Spain imported over 1.2 million tons of U.S. soybeans and 150,000 tons of U.S. soybean meal. Total yearly U.S. Soy imports are valued at over $600 million.
USSEC has closely followed the improvements in the Spanish feed sector in the correct usage of U.S. Soy in animal feed and decided last year to implement several activities in Spain with the goal to disseminate knowledge and train young nutritionists, quality control, and feed mill managers from Eastern Europe and Russia.
“During 2015, USSEC organized several trainings in conjunction with University Politecnica of Madrid (UPM) with the main goal to improve customer preference for U.S. soybean meal and help buyers recognize the value of higher quality and service,” states Prof. Gonzalo Mateos, USSEC consultant and head of Animal Nutrition Department at UPM. “In this regard, USSEC has selected prominent experts in the field of animal nutrition and feed manufacturing and offered excellent training programs for U.S. Soy customers from the emerging feed industries from Romania, Poland and Russia. These actions will lead to an increase in U.S. Soy imports by the Central and Eastern European feed industries.”
“We feel like you can never go wrong by investing in the education of soy customers. Returns will come in the near future in the form of people from all over Europe implementing and working the knowledge we shared,” says USSEC Feed Technologist Consultant Dr. Juan Acedo Rico. “Taking into account that the EU is the second largest customer of U.S. Soy, the more feed each EU state will produce, the more soy they will use.”