Philippines - Local feed millers are shifting to Argentina as a source of its soybean imports.
The US once supplies 65 percent of the Philippines’ importation of 1.5 million mt soybean meal annually.
But with a smaller import volume this year of only 1,110,284 mt due decimated animal population caused by a series of destructive typhoons, the US’ share dwindled to only 26 percent or 291,676 mt with Argentina capturing 69 percent at 771,137 mt; India, 4 percent, 40,689 mt and; Brazil, 1 percent, 6,782 mt.
Soybean meal provides the protein component in animal feeds normally comprising 20 to 25 percent of the feed formula.
US soybean meal is about $50 to $60 more expensive. Its biggest users here are poultry raisers.
An 11-man trade team from United States is in town to regain foothold in the Philippine soybean meal market previously dominated by the US but has since shifted to cheaper Argentinian imports.
The team composed of soybean farmers, state soybean board officials, shipping agents and traders arrived yesterday for a five-day visit to promote US soybean meal use with local poultry and hog farms. The group would also have discussions with feedmillers and farm operators.
Headed by Glen Heitritter a top level official of Ag Processing Inc. which is one of US’ biggest agricultural cooperative and leading soybean meal exporter, the trade team also seeks to look at exporting other agricultural products such as corn and DDGS or dried, distilled grain solubles to the Philippines. DDGS is the byproduct of processing corn to ethanol. It has a high protein content with starch already converted to alcohol.
Other members of the team are Wayne Fredderick and Sheila Hebensteit of Iowa Soybean Association; Matt Widboom and Bob Nelsen, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association; Gregory Hames Greving of Nebraska Soybean Board; Peter Mishek of Mishek and Associates; Robert Bruenn of Maritime 24, a shipping company; and Marie Marte, Gonzalo Marte Jr. and Mariel Marte of MC Marte Enterprises which is coordinating the trade team’s activities in the Philippines.
Corn, which takes up 50 to 60 percent of the formula, provides the carbohydrate component of the feed. Minerals, fibers, vitamins and enzymes provide the balance of the feed’s formulation. The Philippines produces around 7.5 mmt of animal feed annually.