USSEC conducted the third Poultry Roundtable for Maghreb’s feed industry on March 8 and 9 in Casablanca, Morocco.
The conference, part of USSEC’s FY16 promotion program in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region, provided an excellent platform to discuss current issues in poultry feeding in Maghreb. Thirty key customers from the feed and poultry industry attended the conference: 9 from Tunisia, 4 from Algeria and 17 from Morocco.
USSEC Regional Director – MENA Brent Babb emphasized the importance of the Maghreb markets within MENA and globally and presented the advantages of U.S. Soy. Morocco and Tunisia are the largest buyers of U.S. Soy products in Maghreb. These two partners are among the leading export destinations for U.S. Soy products. Maghreb is an important user of soybean meal with Morocco and Tunisia consuming over one million tons of soybean meal annually and Algeria about 1.4 million tons.
American Soybean Association (ASA) director Dean Coleman presented a farmer’s perspective of U.S. Soy production and provided customers with information on farming soybeans. Sarah Hanson, Agricultural Attaché for Morocco and Tunisia based at Rabat, welcomed attendees, highlighting soy as the leading U.S. agricultural value product in Maghreb and thanked customers for their business.
The presentations of visiting experts such as the president of the European branch of the World Poultry Association and University of Norway professor Birger Svihus focused on recent advances in improvements of feed quality; alternatives to antibiotics utilization in poultry feed were discussed by Mario Jimenez Garcia, CEO of 3F Feed & Food Company Spain; and Niels Hansen-Love, vice president of INTL FCStone Ltd covered the global supply and demand for soy, along with market trends and tools to hedge prices.
The program aimed to update feed mill owners and managers, nutritionists, integrators, traders, and others on the production of full fat soybeans. Kim Koch, feed center manager of the Northern Crops Institute at North Dakota State University, presented the latest on extrusion production, quality control, economics, technical specifications, nutritional advantages and other aspects of extruded full fat soybeans.
Nourredine Karim, president of the Moroccan Feed Manufacturers Association; Khantar Mouhamed, president of the Algerian poultry association; and Chaher Chetoui, director of Gipac, a group of poultry producers, updated attendees on poultry and feed industries in their respective markets and discussed various aspects of the soy business in Maghreb region.
Mr. Babb, together with local staff and Morocco consultant Khalid Benabdeljelil, organized the conference, which was followed by field visits with customers in Morocco.
The discussions held at Alf Sahel, the largest feed mill in Morocco, focused on the production of full fat soybean, its technical aspects, and the use of the extruded product in different feed, storage and handling.
The purchasing and logistics of soy products from the U.S. were discussed at Sofalim feed mill where USSEC highlighted the need for high quality feed and ingredients such as U.S. hipro meal to obtain top performance for the feed mill’s turkey and broiler productions.
Industrial compound feed production totals 5.1 million metric tons (MT) in Morocco with 80 percent going to the poultry industry. Poultry remains by far the main user of soybean meal. North Africa’s feed industry is among the fastest growing feed regions in the world.