February 25, 2016


US soybean meal exporters making inroads into Myanmar



US soybean meal exporters have successfully penetrated the Myanmar market after much persistence and convincing about the value and good quality of their products, the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) said.


The USSEC said that last season about 25,500 metric tonnes of US soybean meal was exported to Myanmar for animal feed production and that exports look to outpace last season's volume.


USSEC launched its Myanmar aquaculture program in 2012 with a limited scope, but expanded its marketing efforts in 2013 and 2014. In 2012-2013, Indian soybean meal was the only option for Myanmar's feed industry as its only trade relations were with the neighbouring countries of China, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos, the result of decades of political and economic isolation under the old political regime.


The USSEC aquaculture program, which promoted the use of soy-optimised feeds, started introducing information about US soy to the industry through its trade and technical activities to the local feed mills and farmers when the government began opening up to international organisations. US soybeans and soybean meal were still new to Myanmar's industry.


USSEC said it took some time to convince the industry to try US soybean meal because of the higher price and payment issues in Myanmar as a result of tight foreign exchange controls.


However, USSEC persisted, providing regular technical support, organising workshops to explain the importance of using good-quality feed ingredients and the value of US soybean meal, and arranging meetings with US suppliers.


Htoo Thit, one of the largest aquafeed mills in Myanmar, has purchased 8,000 metric tonnes of US soybean meal since 2015 and has plans to purchase even more US soybean meal this season. USSEC said it had become convinced of the quality and benefits of US soybean products. In the beginning, it said, Htoo Thit purchased small amounts to utilise in its diets. Today, USSEC added, it is one of the largest users of US soybean meal in its feed formulations.

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