soybean field

USSEC Holds Successful 11th Global Agribusiness Outlook for Southeast Asia


USSEC, together with the US Grains Council (USGC), and the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (FAS‐USDA), hosted the 11th Southeast Asia U.S. Agricultural Co-operators Conference (ACC) in Danang, Vietnam from August 26-29.
The 11th ACC in Southeast Asia boasted record participant levels exceeding 190 grower leaders, trade professionals and decision-makers in feed and food commodities, well above the initial 120-participant cap for the event.  This annual program brings together key buyers from across Southeast Asia and leading U.S. suppliers of soybeans and meal in a unique trade opportunity.
The keen interest in U.S. soy as demonstrated during the conference comes at a time when feed demand is on the rise in Southeast Asia on the back of growing incomes and strong appetites for meat and quality food products.  According to FAS-USDA estimates, Southeast Asian soymeal imports have doubled in the last decade to 2014/15, from 7 million metric tons (MMT) to over 14 MMT, while soybean imports over the period have nearly doubled from 3.7 MMT to 6.23 MMT.
USSEC’s offices in these booming regional markets include Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, the top buyer of U.S. soymeal after Mexico.  Myanmar is also gaining ground as a market to watch as liberalization in its political economy advances the country’s growth potential.
Participating leadership representing the U.S. soy family at the 11th ACC include United Soybean Board (USB) Chairman Jim Call; USSEC Chairman and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Randy Mann; Bob Henry, ASA Vice President; James Stillman, USB Past Chairman; Keith Schrader, Vice Chairman, Minnesota Research and Promotion Council (MSRPC); Gene Stoel, Director, MSRPC; and Karey Claghorn, Chief Operating Officer, Iowa Soybean Association.
Trade and business was very much at the core of the event.  Based on participant evaluation, over 1.1 million metric tons (MT) of soybeans and soybean meal imports (equivalent to about 47 million bushels of soybeans) were negotiated or in the process of finalization as a result of networking opportunities afforded by the ACC.  Other U.S. agricultural products transacted at this event include corn (480,000 MT), dried distiller’s grain with solubles (DDGS) (300,000 MT), and wheat (250,000 MT).  In total, over 2.1 MMT of U.S. agricultural commodities were traded or negotiated at the conference.
Participants cited the higher quality of speaker presentations and insight, top-of-the-line trade information and analysis, and an unmatchable opportunity to network with suppliers, customers and peers in one place as factors contributing to a highly satisfactory program.
Robert Chuahi of General Milling Corporation in the Philippines appreciates that the ACC offers buyers like him an unrivalled opportunity to meet personally with U.S. suppliers whom he would otherwise only get to speak with on the phone.  A first-time participant at the ACC, Mr. Chuahi has attended other USSEC-organized events such as the Asia Grains Transportation Conference.
Besides the in-depth information gleaned from the expert presentations, ACC also gives buyers the chance to develop relationships.  “I’ve started discussing vessel chartering prospects here,” Mr. Chuahi shares, adding that he buys only U.S. soymeal.  “We see a huge difference in quality between U.S. origin and soymeal from South America or India.  Although protein content may be lower than say India’s or Brazil’s, U.S. soymeal is preferred among Philippine nutritionists as it gives better digestibility for swine and livestock.”