USSEC Provides Technical Assistance to Aqua Feed Mills in Ecuador
- General News
USSEC provided technical assistance to six major aqua feed mills in Ecuador that produce feeds for aqua cultured species. Consultants Jairo Amezquita and Mark Newman visited aqua feed mills in the cities of Quito, Ambato and Guayaquil. They gave recommendations about nutrition and the manufacture of aqua feed products for tilapia and shrimp, and discussed the use of soybean products in aquaculture feeds. Mr. Newman, a specialist on aquaculture nutrition and manufacture of aqua products, gave two lectures at these facilities, one about nutrient requirements for tilapia feed and its manufacturing process, and the other regarding new uses of soybean meal and the raw materials necessary to complement the use of soybean meal in feed.
Several aqua feed mills recently expressed interest in participating in a demonstration project using soybean products in Ecuadoran shrimp feed manufacturing. It will be necessary for USSEC to work with aquaculture farms using intensive culture to demonstrate the cost / benefit ratio of utilizing soybean concentrate. Last year, Ecuador produced about 240,000 metric tons (MT) of shrimp and 30,000 MT of tilapia, translating to production of more than 400,000 MT of feed with a potential consumption of 160,000 MT of U.S. soybean meal (SBM) in aqua feeds.
Since 2011, USSEC has greatly strengthened its marketing programs in Ecuador, resulting in U.S. SBM exports to that country increasing by 120% (163 thousand metric tons (TMT) in FY11 vs.415 TMT in FY12). For the current fiscal year, U.S. exports to Ecuador are already at 267 TMT vs. 189 TMT in the same period last year (as of February 28, 2013). This has increased U.S. market share in Ecuador from roughly 35% to more than 80%. Ecuador will become a half million (500,000) MT market for the U.S. in FY13. USSEC’s goal for this important market is an 85% market share.