USSEC participated in the U.S. - Middle East/North Africa (MENA) Agribusiness Trade Mission that took place in Cairo, Egypt from April 2 - 6. Over 40 U.S. business representatives met with senior Egyptian government and private sector officials to discuss ways to expand agricultural trade between the United States and Egypt.
USSEC chairman and American Soybean Association (ASA) Jim Miller, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, USSEC Acting Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Regional Lead Pam Helmsing, and USSEC Regional Consultant - MENA Mousa Wakileh traveled to Cairo and Alexandria to meet with soy industry leaders from Egyptian animal, aquaculture, feed and soy processing industries.
After the opening session on the first day, USSEC’s team participated in a soy industry roundtable meeting with 12 attendees, including the largest soybean crushing industry, feed millers, poultry producers, and aquaculture representatives in Cairo to review recent joint programs and to discuss opportunities for future collaboration. Along with feed formulation and the proper valuation of U.S. Soy amino acids’ profile, the group discussed ongoing poultry disease issues limiting profitability in the local industry. USSEC is sponsoring poultry disease training in Egypt and at the University of Florida with one of world’s leading experts and plans to continue the training in the coming years.
Alexandria is home to major soy industry activity in Egypt and meetings were held at two expanding facilities on day two. Alex Seeds showed its new crushing and soy oil bottling facility, which expands their crush facility to 5,000 tons per day, and Cargill displayed its crushing plant that is expanding to 6,000 tons per day.
A soy industry lunch to discuss the Egyptian market concluded the visit to the soy crushing plants. Lunch attendees included Mark Slupek, Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Deputy Administrator; Darrell Upshaw, Program Manager; Ron Verdonk, Regional Agricultural Minister Counselor; J. Bret Tate, Agricultural Attaché; and Ahmed Wally, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – FAS Agricultural Specialist; and two of the largest local traders and crushers.
A visit to the new office building of the Wadi Group was conducted to talk to CEO and president of Wadi Holdings Tony Freiji and his team about their business and their views on issues facing the industry in Egypt.
The visit to Egypt concluded with a soy industry dinner with 25 attendees, including Mr. Verdonk and the largest soybean crushers, feed millers, and poultry producers.
It is clear after speaking with mission participants and Egyptian industry representatives that there is optimism in the air and an expectation of even better days ahead. USSEC looks forward to a continued relationship and working together with the Egyptian animal, aquaculture, feed, and soy processing industries on various marketing initiatives and programs. Egypt has long been the largest market for U.S. Soy in the MENA region, and USSEC programs have supported strong growth in the Egyptian crushing, extrusion, poultry nutrition and diseases, dairy, and aquaculture industries.