The ink is barely dry on his passport having just returned from his latest marketing trip to the Far East, CEO of North Carolina Soybean Producers explains the purpose of this trip: It was a mix of things, primarily we were there to market North Carolina soybeans, and market the high protein and quality of our soybeans. But, we were there to visit some existing customers, customers that we met in our last couple of trade missions and also to meet some new customers, we went to a new market, Indonesia, which we had not been to before. But, we know that there’s some East Coast soybeans going into that market from the export statistics, and we know that some of those are originating from North Carolina so we wanted to get down there and learn more about that market, meet the buyers and see what we could do to get even more beans from North Carolina going into Indonesia.
In addition to Hall, members of the NCDA International Marketing team as well as members of a private import/export firm were on the trip.
Hall explains the purpose of visiting each of the three countries. It was actually our third trip into the Far East in the last 12 months, and it’s a part of a broader export initiative that we’ve been working on to expand the market for North Carolina soybeans. In china we met with some of our American Soybean Association International marketing staff, we met with the Chinese oil seeds processors chamber of Commerce which is the industry group of soybean processors, and that’s a big and booming market, but it’s one that we know a lot about.
Then we went to Indonesia which is also a big market but one that we’ve never visited and we were there primarily to make first contact with buyers and users, then we went back to Taiwan which is a third market that has really turned on for us and the company, the trading company that we were with has been working a couple of customers in particular that has increased our purchases of NC soybeans, so we were really happy to see them again and solidify that relationship.
Each country that the coalition called on has a very different use for NC soybeans. Hall explains; You know, china is buying a lot of US production right now and that is to crush soybeans for mill and feed for livestock because they’re population is consuming more meat. Indonesia is a completely different market, the beans the import are going for human consumption so it’s going into their food manufacturing. That is a really populous country and they buy a lot of US soybean products.
Taiwan is also for crushing there, but they really like to buy containers, so we ship containers to them. And what they’ll do, actually is take those commodity beans, those Roundup-Ready beans and screen them and sell of the beans that screen out for just the right size and quality for tofu production. So, while they’re buying beans for crushing, there’s a secondary market for food soybean, and I think they like our beans for that purpose, too. Once again, we have a really high quality product, and they can satisfy some of their food manufacturing customers.
We’ll hear more on the marketing trip to the Far East next time on Inside Agriculture.