soybean field

USSEC Participates in Peruvian Swine Congress, Poultry/Swine Nutrition Meetings

USSEC attended the Peruvian Swine Congress, met with key soybean meal importers and traders, and visited an aqua integration during a trade mission to Lima, Peru from August 10-14.
USSEC International Animal Feed Marketing Manager Pam Helmsing; USSEC Regional Director – Americas Francisco de la Torre; USSEC Business Development & Risk Management Gerardo Luna; USSEC South America Representative Belinda Pignotti; United Soybean Board (USB) director Scott Singlestad of Minnesota; American Soybean Association (ASA) director John Heisdorffer of Iowa; grower leader Tim Thomas of the Kentucky Soybean Association; and former USB Director Sharon Covert of Illinois all traveled to Peru on behalf of U.S. soy.
A roundtable meeting with soybean meal importers representing about 70 percent of the Peruvian import business was attended by over 16 grower leaders and USSEC staff and contractors.  Participants included the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the head of a feed mill, logistics representatives, a nutrition manager, a director of management and finance, a commodity risk manager, a professor and representatives from the poultry and pork associations.  The meeting began with presentations by Mr. Singlestad and Mr. de la Torre, who talked about U.S. soy, the industry, world trade, and sustainability.  Interactive discussion followed, covering reasons why U.S. soybean meal was not imported during FY 13, preference of origin, and the price differential that users are willing to pay.  This discussion helped the USSEC team to evaluate the market, to find out the reasons why U.S. soy products are not being imported, and to determine how to approach the market and how USSEC can help in their purchasing decisions.  A meeting with Cargill Marketers completed the market evaluation; hearing the traders’ point of view was critical for the U.S. team to build the full scenario.

Members of the U.S. soy trade mission team attend the Swine Congress in Lima, Peru
Members of the U.S. soy trade mission team attend the Swine Congress in Lima, Peru

At the Peruvian Swine Congress, Mr. Singlestad and USSEC consultant Julio Chavez gave presentations and the team talked with industry leaders at the trade show.  Other activities included meetings with Battilana Nutricion, FAS, industry leaders, feed mills, aqua integration, and traders.
The mission team found that there is a perception that soy from Paraguay and Bolivia is of better quality than U.S. soy due to crude protein levels and that it is more affordable as it is shipped in bags by truck to Peru directly to the buyers.  Buyers will pay $10/ton extra for soybean meal from Bolivia over Argentine meal because the protein is 1 percent higher and $13-$14/ton more for meal from Paraguay due to 1.5 percent higher protein.  Cargill informed the U.S. team that Peru’s customer preference for soy is Paraguay, then Bolivia, then the U.S.
USSEC will continue its efforts to win the Peruvian market back.  When the trade mission was planned, there had been no U.S. soy exports to Peru for the entire calendar year.  Some of the companies with whom the delegation spoke, however, indicated that they either intended to or had recently booked purchases of U.S. soy.
Ms. Helmsing felt that messages from grower leader and consultants were well-received.  She says, “I think we improved the participants’ understanding that Peru is important to U.S. soybean farmers and that we want to win their business.  There was some acceptance to the messages on valuing soy on the basis of amino acid content, but it is evident that there is still a strong desire to rely on crude protein values.”

USB director Scott Singlestad talks to soybean meal importers at the roundtable recently held in Lima, Peru
USB director Scott Singlestad talks to soybean meal importers at the roundtable recently held in Lima, Peru

“We need to continue this work and win Peru’s soybean meal business.  Some creative solutions may be needed to supply what they need or encourage development of the infrastructure to make it feasible for them to take large quantities of bulk soybeans/soybean meal,” she summarizes.