In addition, the team visited Phu My Port, one of two facilities in Vietnam that are capable of unloading ships that meet the size requirements to fit through the Panama Canal, known as “Panamax” vessels. In 2010, Vietnam imported the equivalent of 18,365,000 bushels of U.S. soybean meal. As the fourth-largest importer of U.S. soybean meal, Vietnam proves to be a growing market for U.S. soy.

These two discharge facilities were the focus of a visit to Vietnam by representatives of the USB’s International Marketing Committee. This team toured the largest bulk unloading facility in the country — the Bunge Vietnam soybean crushing facility, located at Phu My Port. Bunge Vietnam represented the largest Vietnamese importer of U.S. soybean meal last year, bringing in more than 9,182,500 bushels. 

“The most important part of our trip to Vietnam was to attend the seventh annual Southest Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference,” explains Jim Call, soybean farmer from Madison, Minn., and chair of USB’s International Marketing Committee.

“Over 170 buyers and sellers attended this invitation only event. Over 300 million dollars of soybean, corn and wheat business was done during this event.

This is the kind of event that really adds value to the U.S. soybean farmer.”

The International Marketing team also visited a second facility with Panamax capabilities. Cai Mep Interflour Port can be found on the Thi Vai River at the mouth of the South China Sea. Interflour Vietnam, a joint venture between an Australian-Indonesian company and a Japanese company, is the first privately owned grain terminal and storage facility in Vietnam. 

“Transportation and related facilities are key factors in regions that have a growing demand for U.S. soybeans, and Vietnam’s demand is certainly growing,” adds Call. “It’s vital that we work with Vietnam and build close industry relations to promote the value and quality of U.S. soybeans.”

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply.

As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.