USSEC Organizes Customer Meeting in Portugal
- General News
USSEC organized a mini meeting in Lisbon, Portugal during the third week of December to discuss U.S. soybeans, soybean meal, sustainability, quality and the market. The meeting was organized with the collaboration of the Portuguese Feed Association (IACA).
Rachel Bickford, the new FAS Agricultural Counsellor for Spain and Portugal, welcomed the attendees. 40 customers from Portugal’s feed and meat industry attended, together with crushers and soybean meal importers.
Portugal imports practically all the protein used in its feed industry, roughly 700,000 metric tons (MT) per year of soybeans and 250,000 MT of soybean meal. During the period from April through October, the soy originates from Brazil and Argentina and from the U.S. in the November to March period. Portugal’s meat production is 24 percent swine, 19 percent aviculture, 28 percent dairy, 15 percent cattle and 14 percent other. Feed production is about 4 million tons a year.
The main port in Portugal is Lisbon, but in the north, some importers use the Aveiro and Leixoes ports to deliver soybean meal to cover the demand in that part of the country.
The Portuguese market highly values U.S. soybean meal, primarily for its quality. Portuguese importers try to get this origin when it is available.
At the meeting, USSEC consultant Jan van Eys presented the U.S. soybean sustainability protocol and USSEC consultant Gonzalo G. Mateos talked about protein sources, also speaking about soybean meal quality by origin. Because amino acid content is so highly valued, soybean meal is appreciated more than proteins such as rapeseed meal and sunflower meal. Jaime Piçarra, Vice President, European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), Portugal, presented a snapshot of the Portugal and EU feed markets and USSEC consultant Lola Herrera spoke about the soybean market. The CME group’s Lisa Kallal, manager of commodities and alternative investments for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, introduced the subject of risk management in the futures market.
Meeting participants valued USSEC’s effort to provide them with information about the market and very much appreciated the presentations. Asking for soybean meal of U.S. origin is a new step for Portuguese importers.