John Motter, United Soybean Board (USB) Chairman, Strategic Management Committee, and immediate past USB Chairman, and Monte Peterson, USSEC and American Soybean Association (ASA) Director, traveled to Sri Lanka for the second Asia Subcontinent Trade Exchange.
The ASC TE 2017 was conducted in Colombo on December 11 and 12. USSEC and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), jointly organized the trade conference. Ninety-two participants attended the event.
The audience was comprised of existing and potential buyers of U.S. soybean meal and U.S. soybeans from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Several poultry industry and soy trade representatives from India participated in the event, learning about trading tools that will be useful in the future. Delong, CHS Group, Neco Seeds, and Mirasco represented U.S. agro commodity exporters to the region.
Mr. Motter and Mr. Peterson spoke to the audience about farming practices used for soy and corn in the United States. They also addressed sustainability on farms, the importance of adopting biotech to support future growth in demand for the commodities, and provided supply and quality assurances to ASC buyers. The grower leaders also moderated panel discussions, offering suggestions and providing explanations to the audience. The trade event also provided an opportunity to interact with U.S. soy buyers in the region and obtain firsthand market assessments on the current and future demand for U.S. Soy in ASC.
Pam Helmsing, Acting Regional Lead – ASC, and P.E. Vijay Anand, Deputy Regional Lead – ASC, led the USSEC team. Manuel Sanchez, Regional Director – Southeast Asia, and Amit Sachdev, Regional Representative, led the USGC team and coordinated this successful event along with USSEC’s consultants and country representatives. The team ensured fruitful interactions and buyer-seller engagements through the two-day sessions. Mark Wallace, Attaché, USDA, New Delhi, addressed the gathering to emphasize the support and guidance that the Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) provides in the region for growth in ag trade to ASC. The CME Group provided sponsor support.
The event had a mix of subjects, speakers, and panel discussions that aligned with the interests of ASC buyers. Thomas Mielke from Oil World explained how commodities such as palm oil or canola could have a bearing on supply and price trends for soy and corn. Mr. Sanchez provided insights on U.S. corn harvest and gave quality reports. Jay O’ Neil of Kansas State University educated ASC buyers on how international commodity prices are determined, how price risk is managed using future tools, and how contract negotiations are made for quality and other desired quality requirements. These trading tools will help buyers make better business decisions. John D’Ancona of Clarksons Plateau Asia Pte Ltd spoke on current transportation trends, logistics, and shipping systems that move most of U.S. ag commodities to the Asian region. Budu Tangendjaja from USGC gave a detailed account on global ingredients for animal feeding with special reference to U.S. soy and corn products. All presentations were backed up with panel discussions, which provided ample time for buyer, seller and subject expert interactions.
The conference was designed to provide adequate networking time for buyers and sellers who sought individual appointments to discuss further business. The ASC TE is gradually shaping into an important regional trade event that will support and enhance preference and trade of U.S. Soy into the ASC region. The region closed in on 2 million metric tons (MMT) of total U.S Soy imports, ending September 2017.