MSGA VP visits the Philippines on trade mission

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Vice President Darin Johnson spent this week in the Philippines alongside industry leaders on a U.S. Department of Agriculture trade mission to help foster stronger ties and build economic partnerships between the United States and the Philippines.

“it was great to see our American soybeans at their final destination with some very happy customers,” Johnson said following a visit to a meal and feed processing plant. Johnson also visited a wet market and met with international officials.

Johnson was joined by representatives from 29 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations and 10 state departments of agriculture who are interested in exploring export opportunities in the Philippines. Johnson attended on behalf of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

The Philippines is the top international purchaser of U.S. soybean meal, totaling $947 million in 2021, a 7% increase from 2020. The Philippines is the eighth largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, averaging $3.1 billion annually over the last five years, making it the top market in Southeast Asia. Already a longstanding and reliable trading partner, the Philippines continues to offer many opportunities for exporters because of its young and growing population and rising household income. The United States saw a record year in 2021 for agricultural exports to the Philippines. The strong trade relationship and consumer trust in U.S. products built over decades can be an important asset for exporters.

The trade mission itinerary also includes three memoranda of understanding signing ceremonies, including one to a launch a USDA-funded program to help combat African Swine Fever in the Philippines, another to formalize deeper trade ties between the Province of Batangas and U.S. state departments of agriculture, and a third between Mariano Marcos State University and the U.S. Grains Council to support biofuel solutions and climate smart practices.

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