Feed millers seek more soybean importation amid record prices
Though the price of soybean meal in the world market is at a record high due to decreasing supply, local feed millers need to import additional supplies of the legume to fill in the country's needs, the Philippine Association of Feed Millers, Inc. said over the weekend.
“For corn we can substitute feed wheat, but there is no known substitute for the protein content of soybean meal. Either way we have to place fresh orders for soybean meal, only it’s hard to say what the volume is,” PAFMI President Dr. Norman Ramos said in an interview.
Soybean meal is used as a filler and protein source in animal feeds.
Imported soybean meal is now at an all time high at $340 per metric ton, while the cost of landed soybean meal is about P30 per kilo from P22 per kilo early this year, Ramos said.
The increase in prices is due to the severe drought that hit soybean-producing areas in the United States, the world's biggest supplier of soybean meal.
Sixty-three percent of the country's imported soybean supply comes from the US, while the remaining 37 per cent come from Argentina.
Local feed millers have imported as much as 842,677 MT of soybean meal this year.
Meanwhile, Ramos said the requirements for feed wheat have been filled for the rest of the year, and thus feed mills have decided to stop importation.
Industry data showed that feed wheat imports this year so far total 1.39 million MT, the highest since 2009, during which we imported only 1.127 million MT. This figure went down to 962,446 MT in 2010 but rose to 1.172 million MT in 2011.
The country has been sourcing imported feed wheat solely from Australia in 2011 and 2012.
The Philippines has been enjoying zero tariffs on feed wheat imports from Australia under the Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (ANZAFTA). — DVM, GMA News
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