USSEC’s Asia Grain Transportation Conference Turns 10!
- General News
The 10th Asia Grain Transportation Conference, organized by USSEC, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), was held in Phuket, Thailand. 140 delegates from 14 countries participated in the 1.5 days plenary (March 7-8) and 2 workshops on March 8.
Speaking at both the welcome dinner and the opening of the conference, Bobby Richey, Agricultural Counselor at the FAS-USDA for Thailand and Myanmar, expressed his excitement over the growth and the opportunities presented in Southeast Asia. He emphasized the need for companies to engage their business in a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible manner to ensure adequate supply for the future through sustainability practices, resonated in this year’s conference theme, “Building A Sustainable Food Supply Chain.”
U.S. Soy grower leader Jon Schaeffer, director of the South Dakota Soybean Association, spoke on the U.S. soybean crop outlook and showcased sustainability farming practices on his farm. Scott Gauslow, director of the North Dakota Soybean Council, further explained the investments, both public and private, that had been used for expansion, upgrading and improvement to storage facilities, load port logistics, rail, highway systems in the U.S. to deliver their quality soy to buyers in Southeast Asia. Both U.S. grower leaders were joined by Drew Parsley, director of Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and Mike Appert, director of North Dakota Soybean Council, in a candid and thought provoking panel discussion.
Many participants expressed that they had benefitted from the broad ranging yet in-depth and relevant discussions on key Asian markets, the global outlook for grain and soy, trends in ocean freight, and supply chains for food and agri-products. The panel sessions were also very well received and attracted good participation and responses from both ends.
Based on written evaluations submitted, of the 471,000 metric tons of U.S. agri-products transacted / negotiated, almost 300,000 metric tons or 63 percent were U.S. Soy valued at $110 million USD cost and freight equivalent. The 145,000 metric tons of soybeans and 152,000 metric tons of soybean meal translate to the equivalent of about 12.31 million bushels of soybeans.