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Vietnam Offers Dynamic Market Opportunities

March 17, 2010

Greetings from Vietnam!

Boy, is it warm here. It’s about 95 degrees and humid, so it feels like Iowa around state fair time. After our plane touched down this afternoon, we hit the ground running with a few meetings to bring us up to speed on agriculture in Vietnam.

* As a developing country, Vietnam offers a wealth of market opportunities for U.S. grain. Michael Riedel from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service noted that U.S. exports of ag products to Vietnam in 2009 totaled $1.05 billion, a 3% increase compared to 2008. Grain was a big part of this increase.

* In early March, Vietnam received its largest single shipment of soybean meal when a 48,000-ton supermax vessel lined up by Bunge arrived.

* Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are the United States’ 5th largest trading partner. In addition, Southeast Asia is the world’s 4th largest feed market.

* Vietnam, where only 13% of the country’s land is arable and is mainly used to grow rice, has one of the fatest urbanization rates in the world and a growing demand for meat protein. Ag officials with the U.S. Grains Council noted that Asia can be a big market for dairy, beef, pork, and poultry. They also stressed that the United States needs to sign a trade agreement to pave the way for this economic opportunity.

* The next big demand point for U.S. grains and DDGs is aquaculture. We look forward to taking a tour by boat down the Mekong River on Thursday to see Vietnamese aquaculture up close.

More to come!

I-LEAD class IV

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