USSEC Participates in Jordan Roundtable, Followed by Risk Roundtable Teleconference

USSEC recently participated in a roundtable discussion in Amman, Jordan.  The meeting was followed by a teleconference with Scott Singlestad, United Soybean Board (USB) Director; Steve Wellman, American Soybean Association (ASA) Chair; Antoine Sayegh, President and Owner of Middle East and North Africa Poultry Magazine; and USSEC Regional Director Mit Goblirsch.  Reporters from U.S. agricultural publications were included in the conference call.

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The focus of the roundtable was to help the U.S. soy industry understand and recommend opportunities for ways that Eastern Mediterranean markets can minimize U.S. soy trade
interruptions during times of political unrest.  Prior to the turmoil that began two years ago, the Middle East was a promising market for U.S. soy, but the events known as Arab Spring have disrupted lines of trade amid regional instability.  At this meeting, the U.S. soy family listened to their customers to learn about areas in which help is most needed.  According to Mr. Goblirsch, much of what was learned at the roundtable dealt with the difficulty of moving product to get it to where it is needed.  “Transportation and logistics affect every aspect of soy imports into these areas, including crush, refining, and production of meal and oil,” he stated.
The dedication of the new USSEC regional export office in Dubai, U.A. E., should help alleviate some of these issues and provide an opportunity to help provide the U.S. soy industry access to more customers and increase the demand for U.S. soy, according to Mr. Wellman.  He continued, “There is an opportunity for USSEC and the U.S. to work with joint government programs to address issues.”
USSEC is optimistic that the demand for soy in the Middle East will continue to grow, especially as the demand for poultry continues to rise with the growing population and rising incomes.  Since 1990, population in the Middle East, North Africa and India has increased 150% and is expected to rise an additional 53% between the years 2000 and 2030.