USSEC Attends Bulgarian Oilseeds Crushers Association Annual Conference, Introduces U. S. Soy as Alternative
- General News
The ongoing consolidation process of Bulgaria’s feed and poultry industries, the latest trends in the oilseeds crushing industry, and proximity to Constanta Port on the Black Sea are key factors in the potential development of the country as a market for U.S. Soy.
The Bulgarian Oilseeds Crushers Association’s annual conference is traditionally organized in the capital city of Sofia. This year, it was jointly conducted with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) - Sofia. About 70 participants from 19 crusher members of the association attended the event, which took place on February 25 and 26.
Prior to the event, USSEC Regional Consultant – Southeast Europe Iani Chihaia worked with FAS – Sofia agricultural specialist Mila Boshnakova and Nebraska’s Department of Agriculture to put together a U.S. Soy panel with the goal of introducing U.S. soybeans and soybean products. The U.S. panel was a success, attracting the attention and interest of the entire industry and launching the first professional promotion of U.S. soybeans to the local market.
Information about U.S. soybean crushing technology was presented by Plamen Vassilev, a regional technical support engineer from oilseed crushing equipment manufacturer U.S. Crown Iron Works Ltd in response to recent inquiries for the upgrading of plants.
The information presented by Dr. Chihaia was aimed at convincing the audience of the dominance of soybean products in the world, the prospects of soybean and soy products trade, showed the wide range of products that can be produced from soybeans, and emphasized the crushers’ advantages of processing soybeans.
Currently, high production crushing capacity is underused mainly due to the deficit of local sunflower production last year, which will continue to impact the industry for some time. Diversification is the solution and industry leaders are considering alternatives. Although at this stage, soybeans are the forgotten ingredient mainly because of the lack of local production and historical industry experience, the high interest of the Bulgarian industry should make U.S. Soy a feasible alternative in filling gaps and improving efficiency of the local crushers.
“The industry needs to have more knowledge on how to import soybeans in small shipments since a few companies can afford to buy bigger volumes by vessels,” said Dr. Chihaia. “Import logistics is key and careful research is needed about necessary technological plant upgrades and their cost. Thanks to FAS’s invitation to join this yearly event, USSEC had an excellent opportunity to promote U.S. Soy exports and to prove to the local industry that is able to assist the development of the Bulgarian market.”