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Mielke predicts positive scenario for oils and fats at Soy & Grain Trade Summit (9.25.2012)

NEW ORLEANS (9/25/12) – Nearly 800 buyers and sellers of oilseed products and feed grains from more than 38 states in the U.S. and 40 countries convened here last week to get the pulse of the industry at the 7th annual Soy & Grain Trade Summit (www.soyandgraintrade.com), a three-day event that featured industry leaders including Antonio Galindez, CEO of Dow AgroSciences, and Thomas Mielke, editor-in-chief of Oil World publications.

Attendees could choose from 29 sessions presented by 64 industry expert speakers during the summit. “I was very pleased with the quality of the presentations and professionalism of the speakers,” said Tony Freiji, President and CEO from WADI Group in Giza, Egypt, who was attending the summit for the second time. “The speakers were well-prepared and presented concrete information supported by numbers and facts, making our time in attending worth every minute.”

Mielke, whose presentation was entitled Global Protein Meal and Veg Oil Outlook, spoke of supply issues in soybeans creating considerable problems in the supply of vegetable meals, noting that the “meal market is being squeezed by insufficient supplies,” resulting in prices reaching record high levels in Europe over the past few weeks.

He said that the industry would see the world production of softseed oils shrink slightly while the production of palm oil would rise, and that soybean production would decrease but recover in the second half of the upcoming crop year. While he predicted a positive scenario for fats and oils, Meilke said that he “expected the annual growth in world consumption of all oils and fats to slow in 2012-13, the smallest growth in nine years.”

Galindez, who was the keynote speaker, spoke of the technology that can be leveraged to respond to the growing need for food, and of Dow’s AgroScience’s proven ability to introduce sustainable practices in food production. Additionally, he expressed how critical it is, in the efforts to feed the world, to retain the confidence of the public. “I am optimistic and believe we have a lot of tools to move forward,” he said.

Other speakers, who offered similarly important assessments and predictions of the industry, hailed from ADM, CME Group, SunOpta and the Illinois Soybean Association, and made quite a positive impression on attendees.

Attendees, such as Russell Hofmann of Wells Fargo Bank and Bryan Paskewicz, Supply Chain Solutions out of Chicago, Ill., praised the fluid format of the conference and the abundance of networking opportunities. “This has become one of the must-attend events in the industry,” said Eric Jackson of Conservis in Minneapolis.

Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), who worked with conference host HighQuest Partners to drive attendance to the event concurred, “The Soy & Grain Trade Summit has grown and evolved into an important place for U.S. suppliers around the world to gather, and for us, it's an opportunity to bring international buyers to the U.S."

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