Egypt has long been the largest market for U.S. Soy in the Middle East and North Africa, and USSEC programs have supported strong growth in the Egyptian crushing, poultry, dairy, and aquaculture industries.
Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA, along with USSEC regional consultant Mousa Wakileh, recently traveled to Cairo and Alexandria to meet with local soy industry contacts. Two years ago, Egypt imported over 26 million bushels of U.S. Soy, but that number fell to only 11 million bushels last year due to local import authorities’ concerns on weed seeds and the limited availability of foreign currency. On the first day of visits, however, the group received good news that a solution for importing U.S. Soy was reached and normal imports could restart, and so Egypt has already received its first Panamax vessel of U.S. Soy. USSEC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked closely with the Egyptian soy industry and government officials to resolve the issues limiting U.S. Soy imports.
Mr. Babb and Mr. Wakileh met with the Egyptian Poultry Industry in Cairo to review recent joint programs and discuss opportunities for future collaboration. Along with feed formulation and the proper valuation of U.S. Soy amino acids, the group discussed ongoing poultry disease issues limiting profitability in the local industry. In 2016, USSEC sponsored poultry disease training at the University of Florida and plans to continue the training in 2017.
Alexandria is home to major soy industry activity in Egypt, and meetings were held at two new and expanding facilities. The Wadi Group hosted to the team at their port facility, which is jointly owned with ADM. Wadi is one of the largest soy crushers in Egypt, along with poultry and aquaculture production. Additionally, Alex Seeds showed their new crushing and soy oil bottling facility, which expands their crush facility to 5,000 tons per day.
A soy industry dinner at Wadi Group Alexandria Egypt port facility – Nile Stevedoring and Storage Company concluded the Egypt visit. 25 attendees, including the largest soybean crushers, feed millers, and poultry producers attended, along with Ron Verdonk, Counselor at U.S. Embassy, Cairo.