Nebraska Department of Agriculture Announces Soybean Agreement with Bulgaria
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has signed letters of intent with nine soybean processing companies in Bulgaria. The agreement will promote Nebraska soybeans and soybean products in their facilities.
“This is a great opportunity, which is growing demand for Nebraska soybeans,” said Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Bulgaria is a country with a high demand for quality protein and is a relatively untapped market.”
Ricketts said promoting Nebraska for quality agricultural commodities supports farmers and ranchers.
He said it increases “our global market share, and continue to grow Nebraska’s No. 1 industry.”
The companies want to maximize their output and are looking to source Nebraska and U.S. soybeans. They use about 2 million metric tons of soybeans per year. They have a total production capacity of 2.7 million metric tons.
The Bulgarian companies visited Nebraska this year to learn more about soybean production.
NDA used federal Emerging Markets Program grant funds to pay for the visit. A market research study was done to promote soybean sales in eastern Europe.
They visited a soybean farm in Geneva, the Aurora Cooperative and the grain storage and trading operations of Gavilon and Scoular in Omaha. They also visited a shipping container/loading facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the ADM soybean processing facility and power plant in Lincoln.
They talked with members of the Nebraska Soybean Board as well.
“Good personal relationships with the owners and executives of several soybean processing facilities in Bulgaria are a tremendous asset for the future,” said NDA Interim Director Mat Habrock. “We share similar appreciation for people, culture and agriculture.”
Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union since 2007. The EU was Nebraska’s third-largest export market of soybeans and soybean products in 2015.
Trade is important to Nebraska agriculture. On Friday, the USDA reported that agricultural exports totaled 0.5 billion in FY 2017. That’s .9 billion more than the previous year and the third-highest level on record.
U.S. agriculture had a trade surplus of .3 billion. That was up 30 percent from the previous year’s .6 billion.
The other top 10 markets were the European Union (.6 billion), South Korea (.9 billion), Hong Kong ( billion), Taiwan (.4 billion), Indonesia ( billion) and the Philippines (.6 billion).
U.S. bulk commodity exports set a volume record at 159 million metric tons. That was up 11 percent from FY 2016, while their value increased by 16 percent to .4 billion. Soybean exports reached a record 60 million metric tons, valued at billion.
Corn, wheat, and cotton exports also grew. Wheat exports were up 21 percent to .2 billion. Corn exports were up 6 percent to .7 billion.
U.S. dairy exports increased by 17 percent to .3 billion and beef exports were up 16 percent to .1 billion. Pork exports increased by 14 percent to .4 billion. Horticultural product exports increased by 3 percent to .9 billion. Exports of tree nuts reached .1 billion, the second-highest total on record. Processed food and beverage exports increased by 2 percent to .2 billion.
Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, according to the USDA.
Source: The Independent.com
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