Wheat figures on track for decline

Naveen Thukral for Reuters:

Chicago wheat futures were on track for their biggest weekly decline since early September on Friday, as stiff competition from the Black Sea region and higher output in China weighed on the market. 

Soybeans were headed a third straight weekly loss, while corn was down for a second week on U.S. harvest pressure and disappointing exports. 

“Wheat has come under a bit of pressure this week on forecasts of higher supplies from Russia and IGC has raised its outlook for the Chinese crop,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. 

Ole Houe

“But the latest drop (in wheat prices) is unwarranted as supplies are likely to tighten next year. Overall production in Russia and Australia is lower and global demand for wheat remains strong.” 

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract has lost 4.5 percent this week, the biggest decline since the week ended Sept. 7. The market was up 0.9 percent at $4.91-3/4 a bushel by 0242 GMT on Friday.

Expectations of higher wheat exports from Russia, the world’s biggest supplier, are adding pressure on U.S. wheat prices. 

An improved crop outlook in China led the International Grains Council on Thursday to raise its forecast for world wheat production in the 2018/19 season. 

The IGC put global wheat production at 728.8 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 716.7 million tonnes, although still well below the prior season’s 767.1 million tonnes. 

A stronger dollar, which makes the greenback-priced commodities expensive for buyers holding other currencies, weighed on wheat futures.

Wheat by Flickr user Murtaza

Still, some Asian flour mills are looking to lock in wheat supplies until well into the middle of 2019, potentially shaking off a years-long trend for hand-to-mouth buying as global output is set to drop for the first time in six years. 

Pressure from harvest of bumper soybean and corn crops in the United States kept a lid on prices. 

Soybeans have declined 1.5 percent this week, while corn has lost 1.2 percent. Soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $8.43-3/4 a bushel and corn added 0.4 percent to $3.62-1/2 a bushel on Friday. 

The CBOT soybean futures sank on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly report showed 212,700 tonnes of export sales, well below trade expectations for a third week in a row.

Weekly U.S. corn export sales were similarly disappointing, at 377,500 tonnes (old and new crop years combined). 

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said. Estimates of net fund selling in corn ranged from 17,000 to 35,000 contracts.



Royal British Legion needs our support


The Royal British Legion today launches its Poppy Appeal for 2018. It is vital that we support this incredibly important fundraising drive and remember those who sacrificed so much for us.

In this, the centennial of the end of World War 1 it is perhaps even more important for us to wear a poppy with pride and remember those who gave so much for the freedom we enjoy today.

The Mills Archive tells us a bit more about the role of flour millers during the war:

During the First World War the production and distribution of flour came under government control, a situation that lasted until 1921.

With de-control came a period of competition and reorganisation.  Some companies had lost trade during the war and were now seeking to regain it, but others gained new customers during the war and increased their production as a result.

Over-production and imports of foreign flour added to the mix.

Two of the main players continued to be Spillers and Ranks.  By 1924 Ranks had the controlling interest in at least eight other sizeable companies, in addition to its own mills, while Spillers controlled seven, manufacturing not only bread flour but also a range of other cereal products including dog biscuits.

In 1929 the Miller’s Mutual Association was formed through which flour output quotas were fixed and funds raised to buy out and close redundant mills.  This resulted in the larger milling companies acquiring smaller milling concerns and taking over their quotas.  By the end of 1933 Ranks controlled some 15 to 20 companies including the Associated London Flour Millers (ALFM), which had seven London mill members.

Things have changed significantly since then – and some times not for the better. The Daily Mail is reporting an old story abut gingerbreadmen being renamed gingerbread person.

So as we enter this year’s Poppy Appeal lets remember the sacrifices those before us made and forget the PC brigade who want us to change the name of childhood favourites..


South American, Chinese feed grain importers visit Southern states to forge relationships with U.S. suppliers

Two teams of feed grain industry importers – from South America and China – are in Minneapolis for Export Exchange before heading to the southern United States to meet with suppliers and exporters of U.S. corn, its co-products and sorghum. 

Export Exchange is a biennial educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host approximately 200 international buyers and end-users organized into 21 USGC trade teams. Both teams will meet with U.S. suppliers and get a chance to learn about current supply and demand for U.S. feed products.
The Council is working with the teams in cooperation with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP).

“We are excited to host the upcoming trade teams and grow our network at Export Exchange 2018 as sorghum exports have represented a large portion of the U.S. sorghum marketplace over the last few years,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “The Sorghum Checkoff is dedicated to building strong relationships between buyers and sellers, resulting in continued sorghum sales.”
Export Exchange is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, allowing these buyers to meet with U.S. sellers of corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed.
“At a time when the U.S is looking to create new trade agreements, highlighting the importance of international trade can be no better illustrated than by Export Exchange and the trade team visits before and after the event,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer.

“It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made at this critical event will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come.”
In addition to networking opportunities, these attendees traveling to Export Exchange will be briefed on the global supply and demand situation, transportation issues and challenges, the global grains outlook, new advances in DDGS and poultry, food safety regulations, and agribusiness, the current U.S. policy environment and more.
Export Exchange also highlights the importance of strong trade policy and market development to U.S. agriculture. The Council, in partnership with USCP, works in more than 50 countries and the European Union to market U.S. grains and their related products and build long-term demand from loyal customers.
After Export Exchange, the South American team will visit Louisiana and Texas and the Chinese team will visit Missouri and Arkansas to learn more about the U.S. marketing system for feed grains and co-products and for specialized crop tours of the 2018 corn harvest.
Over the course of their trade team activities, the members of the South American delegation will visit export facilities in New Orleans and an ethanol plant and corn and sorghum farms Texas. The Chinese delegation will visit corn and sorghum farms in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas as well as an ethanol plant, local elevators and transloading facilities. While visiting Export Exchange and these respective states, individuals on the teams have opportunities to directly do business and make connections to facilitate future sales.

This work is a critical piece of market development programs operated by the Council in more than 50 global markets, with funding from organizations like USCP, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program in the U.S. farm bill.
“Our growers need the farm bill to cross the finish line as momentum is vital in farming and markets,” said Wayne Cleveland, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers executive director. “Farmers need to know the farm program rules for financing and planning intentions going forward, and continual funding of MAP and FMD are key to increasing market opportunities.”


Zheng Chang celebrates 100 years of innovation

Zheng Chang Group came together to celebrate 100 years of leading animal feed production in China. Perendale Publishers were represented at the auspicious celebrations by Tuti Tan, Circulation and Events organiser.

More than 100 dignitaries joined with senior staff members from Zheng Chang as they looked back on 100 years of innovation at the forefront of animal feed technology.

The atmosphere of the celebration was warm and the performances such as “Encouraging the New Era”, “Innovating the World” and “The Power of Endeavour” all represented Zheng Chang’s 100-year culture and century glory.

President Hao Bo gave a speech to the gathered delegation at the stadium in Liyang Jiangsu.

He said: “Innovation is the fount of Zheng Chang’s permanent development. Zheng Chang was founded by the name of Zheng Chang Oil Mill in 1918 and transformed into a public-private joint venture in 1956, and renamed Liyang Grain Machinery Factory in 1969.

“It was successfully restructured in 2003 into the Shanghai Zheng Chang International Machinery Engineering Company Ltd to start exploiting the international market we responded to the national “One Bet One Road” initiative in 2014, and founded Zheng Chan Brazil Co. Ltd in 2015 as the first base in South Africa.

“By then we had automated manufacturing, and filed in many gaps. Up to now Zheng Chang has grown into a national grain storage engineering company that specialises in offering stable, reliable storage projects and total solutions.”

He went on to outline Zheng Chang’s development, praising the “decades of professionalism and craftmanship” which has enabled Zheng Chang to become a “global leading feed equipment, storage equipment and integrated system service provider.”

“Zheng Chang has made groundbreaking achievements in many areas, such as having built more than 3600 feed and storage projects at home and abroad, attracted all types of global enterprises top invest in Liyang, and shared its fruits with others.

“In the past century full of hardships, Zheng Chang has grown so big and strong: the staff of Zheng Chang has moved ahead at a steady pace to continue the writing of the centennial history and create brilliance with the spirit of struggle, innovation, valiancy, pioneering and devotion with support and help from the leaders at all levels, our clients  and friends.

“Looking today we are in endless struggle – innovation has made Zheng Chang China’s only company with intellectual property rights for feed and storage equipment.”

Mr Hao Bo praised Zheng Chang’s core culture of “concentration, innovation, integrity, stability, harmony, value creation and result orientation.”

He said he hoped Liyang would become the “feed machinery capital of the world” and the “home of Chinese feed machinery.”

“Not only is Zheng Chang a time-honoured Chinese enterprise, but it is aspiring to go global on behalf of Chinese brands.

“Zheng Chang is growing into a leading wealth factory with sustainable profitability, to build a better future.”



De Wet Boshoff – The future of the African feed industry

De Wet Boshoff

De Wet Boshoff

De Wet Boshoff, of the Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association, South Africa, spoke of the opportunities and challenges facing the African continent at the World Nutrition Forum in Cape Town.

Mr Boshoff said African continent is slowly but surely starting to perform economically. Ironically Africa weathered the financial crash of 2007-2008 because it is not fully integrated into the international network.

“The effect of the economic meltdown in 2007-2008 did not have such a negative effect as it had on the developed economies,” he said.

“While the developed world struggled to kick-start their economies after 2007-2008, and the majority are not fully functional at pre-2007 levels yet, some developing African economies outranked and, in some cases, still are outranking developed economies, although mindful that in most cases it was from a low economic growth and production basis.”

Positive economic growth gives way to an increase in demand due to an increase in job opportunities and therefore a higher pool of disposable income which in turn leads to an increase in demand for products and services, he said.

This higher demand is determined by a variety of variables all depending on the Living Standard Measure (LSM) group the consumer falls into. In most cases where economic growth takes place and disposable income per household increases, the consumer moves up to a higher LSM group due to a higher household income  (disposable) which causes higher demand due to being able to spend more.

Spending patterns of the LSM groups can differ dramatically with spending on food and food products normally at a considerably higher level in developing or 3rdworld economies than in developed 1stworld economies.

In the higher LSM group places like the United States spend 6.4 per cent of their disposable income on food or food products; Singapore 6.7 per cent and the UK 8.2 per cent. Whereas developing nations like Nigeria see as much as 56.4 spent on food and food products. Kenya spends 46.7 per cent; Pakistan spends 40.9 per cent and Algeria 42.5 per cent whereas Canada spends 9.1 per cent and Australia 9.8 per cent of disposable income on food and food products. Four of the top 20 animal feed producing nations in Africa feature on the list for spending the highest percentages on food and food products.

Colonisation played a big part in the formation of the African continent with developed countries scrambling to colonise parts of the African continent between the 1800’s and 1900’s but the colonisation was slowly reversed during the 1900’s.

“In the case of South Africa, South African became The Union of South Africa on May 31, 1910 and the independence as a republic came only on May 31, 1961. Thus, except for Egypt, the majority of our top 20 only became independent in the mid 1960’s, with some keeping close ties with their former colonial ruler for various reasons.”

The African continent is split into different economic blocks and various trade blocks have emerged such as the South African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“Measured against the time it took the whole process of the EU being established and fully functional, it is still a daunting task for the African economic blocks to get themselves organised and up and running,” said Mr Boshoff.

Some of the economic blocks are starting to work together but they are doing so from a very low base and disposable income remains the main inhibitor. The economic growth shown is an outstanding indicator of the possibilities but:

“The fact that there is a demand for your product or service remains one of the top considering factors when investing in production infrastructure and production capacity for feed and food products. This, because you want to have the comfort of knowing that there are consumers using your final product.”

Mr Boshoff asked if the value supply chain is working well?

“It will be senseless to invest in the best equipment and infrastructure if the upstream and downstream value chain partners are non-existent.”

Transport of raw materials into the plant and then transport to get the feed to farms are also an important part of the chain.

Being properly prepared can enable you to take advantage of the challenges and turn them into opportunities, said Mr Boshoff. It is important to network, not just nationally but internationally as well.

The South African Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association (AFMA) has started a process to establish a national feed association in every SADC member state. The SADC initiative would also be driven to make new link ups and contacts with other African structures.

The principles and purpose behind the formation of SAFMA and a national association in each country are the following:

  • Better structured, coordinated and informed industry
  • Bringing the different feed legislation closer to equivalence
  • Promoting training, skills development and feed safety among all members
  • Uplifting the internationally accepted manufacturing practices among all
  • Cooperation within the region to secure food security and food safety for all


Mr Boshoff concluded by saying South Africa is in an anomalous position – producing feed on a developed world standard while being ion a developing economy. The European Partnership Agreement signed by the EU and the SADC made free trade a reality. South Africa needs to face the challenges head on.

“The region should get itself well organised in many ways to stand their ground, which would be possible if the cooperation between industries and governments can be brought to a level where they work as a team for their country and their region, moving away from the phenomena of everyone working in their own little silo, with no strategic lateral vision, which is starting to show, but at a too sluggish pace.”


Vietnamese delegation visits BIOMIN

The internationally operating ERBER Group welcomed a delegation from Vietnam at the BIOMIN Research Center Tulln on Tuesday, October 16.

The delegation was led by Vietnam’s Prime Minister S.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who came to visit BIOMIN together with several members of the Vietnamese government and high-ranking members of a trade delegation.

ERBER Group’s Executive Board Directors Heinz Flatnitzer and Rudolf Stelzhammer welcomed a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation led by Vietnam’s Prime Minister S.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the BIOMIN Research Center in Tulln for bilateral business talks.

S.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc Thailand Prime Minister with Biomin officials

ERBER Group has been operating in Vietnam since 1995. Today, the South Asian region is one of ERBER AG’s biggest future markets.

Heinz Flatnitzer, Director of the Executive Board of ERBER AG said: “ERBER Group sees itself as an expert organization and global market leader in its core competence of mycotoxin risk management – sustainable and forward-thinking.

“Our international focus on Asia, for instance, and especially on Vietnam, as well as our own research and development are important elements of our success and have been contributing to our steady growth for more than 30 years.

“ERBER Group currently operates in 142 countries and employs approximately 1,500 people worldwide – about 500 of them here in Austria and 80 in Vietnam.”

Rudolf Stelzhammer, Director of the Executive Board of ERBER AG, is happy about the visit from this high-ranking delegation and refers to the wonderful long-term development, especially in the Asiatic region: “ERBER AG’s sales, together with its divisions BIOMIN, ROMER LABS, SANPHAR and EFB, reached a record of 327 million euros in our business year 2017 – the long-term average of our successful growth is 16% p.a.

“Vietnam’s contribution to ERBER AG’s overall turnover of the past years has especially increased significantly.

“This is also based on the good framework conditions in this area: For many years the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has been one of the most dynamic countries in Southeast Asia.

“The growth rates of past years have always been over 6%; last year we had a growth rate of 6.7%, which was more than the governmental goal.”

Phuong Nguyen Quang, Managing Director Vietnam, BIOMIN: “BIOMIN Vietnam Company Limited was founded as early as 1995 in Hanoi.

“Today, BIOMIN has two state-of-the-art feeding production sites in the north and in the south of the country, and also operates an agricultural aquaculture research center and a diagnostic laboratory for animal health at Nong Lam University in Ho Chi Minh City.

BIOMIN’s goal in Vietnam is to expand its pioneer position regarding the development of antibiotic-free feed additives for aquacultures, cattle, swine and poultry, and furthermore to develop its research efforts in biotechnological areas for vaccines and enzymes.”

Optimising processes with the Bühler MYTA PSM

Bühler’s new MYTA PSM (particle size measurement) is a brilliant, innovative new solution for monitoring particle size and distribution in flour and semolina. The MYTA PSM can be installed in a fixed plant and is also available in a portable version.

Particle size distribution is one of the most important parameters for millersin optimising their grinding processes and in ensuring constant quality for their end products. For customers, the defined distribution of particle size is decisive for the success of a reproducible processing of flour or semolina.

The particle size distribution of the flour and semolina has a significant influence on thewater absorption capacity and the rheological behavior of the dough in the subsequentprocessing steps. Bühler’s MYTA PSM provides an alternative to the classic laboratory sifter. It can be used for particle size measurement in the 10 – 5000 μm range, either online for continuous monitoring, oras a portable unit for a wide variety of measuring positions. The resultis reproducible end products with a constant particle distribution.

Mobile MYTA unit


For online particle size measurement, a representative amount of product is taken using the integrated sampler and fed to the sensor back-to-back.The continuously calculated measurement results are shown and archived as a trend graph andas a numerical particle size distribution. The measurementsystem is installed in the gravity spouting. Manual sampling is unnecessary which makesthe measuring results representative, constant and also unrelated to the person doing the measuring.

The advantage of the mobile MYTA PSM is its portability and easy operation. The system can be freely moved to different measuring points in the plant. An external power connection, as well as an air connection, is sufficient. Operator error is almost impossible. The control unit is an integral component of the system and delivers the granulation distribution within just a few minutes. The software allows an offset to be entered which can be used for a direct comparison to an individual sieve stack in the laboratory sifter.

The PSM system MYTA can be used in a variety of grain mills with different applications, such as online flour monitoring, for continuous quality assurance after grinding, monitoring of durum semolina, wherein if a deviation from the set point occurs, an alarm sounds. Online monitoring of grist is also available, where automatic settings can be assigned.

The PSM (Particle Size Measurement) MYTA helps stabilise the entire grinding process. Problems in the ongoing process can be quickly detected. While the online version also allows automatic correction at a defined measuring point  in the ongoing process, the mobile version is suitable as an alternative to the classic lab sifter for different measuring positions. Any deviations from the set point can be responded to immediately. The specification for the particle size is ensured. Thanks to the traceability, transparency is guaranteed. Last but not least, the sensor also optimises the efficiency of a plant: faulty batches are avoided and the yield in relation to the correct particle size distribution is optimised.



Twenty-One Teams of Global Grain Buyers To Attend Export Exchange 2018, State Trade Visits


Grain buyers from 37 countries are in the United States this month participating in trade team visits to states in the Midwest and participating in Export Exchange – Oct. 22-24 in Minneapolis.

Export Exchange is a biennial educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host approximately 200 international buyers and end-users organised into 21 USGC trade teams. The biennial conference is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy.

“At a time when we have just agreed to a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, highlighting the importance of international trade can be no better illustrated than by Export Exchange and the trade team visits before and after the event,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer.

“It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made at this critical event will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come.”

The pre- and post-event tours include three teams from Mexico – two visiting states before Export Exchange and one visiting after the event concludes.

Each team will meet with personnel from buying groups, trading companies and feed mills in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kentucky and Iowa.

Each team will see firsthand U.S. corn, sorghum and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) production and supply as well as assess current crop conditions during their stops. 

“The buyers coming on this year’s Mexico teams are interested in learning more about all U.S. grains and their co-products,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC Mexico director.

“Increased promotion of these commodities in Mexico is expected to expand market opportunities as customers look for ways to improve food and fuel production.”

Like Mexico, another area of considerable growth for U.S. feed grains imports is Southeast Asia.

A trade team interested in corn and DDGS from Vietnam will visit Illinois after participating in Export Exchange.

“Vietnamese buyers have continued to increase their purchases of corn and DDGS since the government lifted its suspension of DDGS imports and eased its fumigation requirements for U.S. corn imports in 2017,” said Manuel Sanchez, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia.

“It is a great opportunity for these feed grain importers and end-users to engage with U.S. sellers directly.”

While in Illinois, the Vietnamese party will engage in specialized crop tours of the 2018 corn harvest, as well as visit an ethanol plant and trans-loading facility.

“The Council has provided opportunities for Southeast Asian grain importers to visit trans-loading facilities in the past, as a means of increasing their knowledge of how freight works,” Sanchez said.

“These types of specialized visits will allow this team to see firsthand U.S. crop conditions at harvest time, which helps result in trade.”

The Vietnam trade team is only one part of a larger effort by the Council to link high-profile executives and decision makers from Southeast Asia to U.S. suppliers of grain products.

The Council is sponsoring five trade teams from Southeast Asia – with delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines, in addition to Vietnam.

Approximately 65 Southeast Asian participants are expected to visit in various states either before or after the meeting in Minneapolis.

With Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development funding through the Farm Bill, the Council works globally to increase demand for feed grains and related products among livestock and poultry producers, feed millers and other customers around the world.

It also conducts programming that focuses on technical proficiency and customer knowledge of U.S. marketing systems as well as overall quality.

Please visit www.grains.org for more information about the Council.


Bright prospects for Nigeria’s animal feed market

By Shem Oirere

Nigeria’s population is projected to hit 400 million people by 2050, from the current 190 million. This is likely to create huge demand for livestock and livestock products, opening up opportunity for growth of the country’s $12 billion animal feed market.

The potential for an expanded animal feed sector in Nigeria is huge, underpinned by the current high livestock numbers now estimated at 10 million birds, 22 million cattle, 40 million sheep and 50 million goats.

And, in the last few months, the Federal Government has been preparing ground for increasing the quantity and quality of animal feed production and distribution within Nigeria through several mechanisms, including providing clarity and certainty of the industry’s regulatory framework.


Animal feed

“Demand for livestock and livestock products will more than double by 2050 and to satisfy this expected huge demand for animal protein and other livestock products, livestock production and productivity has to increase commensurably in quality and quantity by about 60 percent,” says Chief Audu Ogbe, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in a recent presentation.

In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates Nigeria’s poultry meat consumption will increase ten-fold by 2040, “assuming moderate feed costs, while domestic poultry production is expected to increase by 8 billion eggs and 100 million kilograms of poultry meat per annum.” The Department estimates Nigeria’s annual fish consumption to be two million tons, with over 20 percent supplied through land-based aquaculture production.

Currently, Nigeria is on the throes of streamlining the country’s feed industry after the December 2017 promulgation of new guidelines on the formulation, production, distribution of the products spearheaded by the Governing Council of the Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

NIAS has gazetted the new feed industry regulations, which the Institute says will enable livestock producers to “achieve high levels of performance through use of consistent good quality feed.”

The rules, NIAS insisted, would support efforts to “protect health of consumers of animal products and safeguard health of animals and ensure quality animal feed distribution from feed-mill to farm level and that Nigeria markets animal feed products that meets national and international standards.”

NIAS has published a list of ingredients that it considers mandatory in the formulation and manufacture of feed in Nigeria and which all animal feed makers have to use if the country is to raise the bar of “Nigeria’s animal feed products to meet international benchmarks on animal feed safety.”

Some of the other requirements NIAS wants animal feed manufacturers and suppliers to adhere to include complying with specifications for premise construction and setting up of equipment for processing and storing the feeds, keeping records of raw materials received, registration of feed businesses and enlisting of animal scientists by the feed milling operators.

NIAS says these new regulations require animal feed operators “to have at least one registered animal scientist as a technical officer to supervise operations of the mill.”

To boost safety of the feed produced in Nigeria, NIAS insists the milling plants must be located “away from polluted areas prone to flooding, pest infestation, presence of waste and not less than 200m from livestock production area in case of a farm mill.”

Previously Nigeria had been listed alongside South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Kenya and Zambia as some of the fast-growing animal feed markets in Africa according to a survey by AllTech Global ranking.

Nigeria was ranked number 40 globally in the 2015 AllTech Global rankings and is one of the African feed markets that recorded more than 30 percent, at a time when the overall feed industry growth for Africa, with 2081 feed mills and total feed tonnage of 39.5 million metric tonnes, averaged 13 percent although the survey concludes the continent “presents the greatest growth opportunity for the feed industry.”

Streamlining of the Nigerian animal feed industry value and supply chain is expected to pay dividends for feed manufacturers and also the national economy, which grew at estimated 0.8 percent in 2017, up from –1.5 percent in 2016 and is likely to rise to 2.5 percent by the end of next year.

Feed producers such as Premier Feeds Mills, a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC (FMN) and Olam, have lately reported growth in their production volumes and expansion of their business units within Nigeria, a result of a surge on demand for animal feeds in the West Africa country.

For example, Premier Feeds Mills, which gets its feedstock from the 10,000-hectare farm in Niger state’s Kaboji region, expanded its manufacturing operations in 2017 by opening an additional 10 tons/hour extrusion line to meet the high Nigerian and international animal feed market demand.

“Our company has continued to record giant strides across major market segments, even as we continue to consolidate our strategy to drive efficiency and grow our footprints in our agro-allied division,” says Peter Coumantaros, the FMN founder and chairman.

“We are halfway through a restructuring process for crop production with the focus on aligning the 2018 season to white maize, wheat and soy seed production,” he said.

In late 2017, commodities and agribusiness company Olam also commissioned a 720,000 ton/year feed milling facility in Nigeria specializing in the production of heat-treated mash and pelleted feeds. This is in addition to a new ultra-modern hatchery for generation of day-old chicks for both layer and broiler alongside a fish feed manufacturing plant.

The higher operational efficiency in large-scale and modern feed mills in Nigeria such as Premier Feed Mills and Olam is expected to reduce feed production cost and prices according to USDA.

This is in spite of the challenges of inadequate public power supply, infrastructure deficiencies, high cost of borrowing, high inflation rate, weak consumer demand, and a concern for security in some parts of the West African country that Coumantaros says are still a hurdle for Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.

USDA says Nigeria’s animal feed segment “remains underdeveloped mostly due to high production costs.”

“Most poultry, aquaculture and other livestock operations in Nigeria spend about 70 percent of their operational costs on feed, indicating its huge demand in the sector.,” USDA said a report released in April 2018.

“Over the last 5 years, Nigeria’s Animal Feed sector has continued to attract both local and foreign 

investors, and it is expected to remain the leading grain user in the country,” it said.

London and South East miller’s society annual general meeting

George Marriage and James Palmes of LSEMS

The Annual General Meeting of the London and South East Milling Society took place on a warm October evening in central London.

Dozens of representatives from mills across the UK attended the event which was held in the impressive headquarters of NABIM – the National Association of British and Irish Millers – in Arlington Street, Piccadilly.

The evening began with thanks for the all the activities which took place in 2018 including a visit by the group to company Bühler.

Treasurer of LSEMS David Ferns said: “It has been a great year with great support from across the industry.”

Mr Ferns added LSEMS was a sound financial state and the group was able to keep the subscriptions at £40.

“The accounts are safe and secure,” he said.

The itinerary for the rest of 2018 and 2019 was outlined starting with the Christmas Fair at Arlington Street on December 11 and a theme of international fayre. On February 12 a celebration of Chinese New Year will be held at a restaurant to be arranged.

On March 12 there will be a talk by Sam Millar, Quality Director at Warburtons, which will also take place at 21 Arlington Street in London.

The Summer Technical Conference for LSEMS will take place on a date in June at a venue to be decided and then in September the group will go on a trip to Jaguar Landrover in Solihull, followed by a visit to the National Motor Museum. This also takes place on a date to be confirmed.

LSEMS then welcomed their new president: James Palmes who is managing director of Malcolm Ross & Sons, technical yarns specialists based in Stockport, Manchester.


Malcolm Ross supplies technical yarn to millers.

“I am extremely pleased and honoured to be elected President. I want to attract millers from across all sectors of milling – we have two new millers on the LSEMS committee with us tonight so I see we have already started to do that.”

Outgoing President Nick Hinton wished his successor all the best and said he had left LSEMS in a healthier position than it was when he took over.

Mr Hinton said: “I think we have done quite well – the industry is shrinking but membership numbers are good.”

He added there was a genuine shortage of youngsters coming into milling.

The main speaker was the new president of NABIM – George Marriage who gave an impassioned speech about the state of milling in the UK.

He spoke about his plans to extend the communication arm of NABIM.

He praised the work of NABIM and said it was particularly important in preventing contamination of raw materials used in the flour milling process.

NABIM has advised the Food Standards Agency about the impact of mycotoxins, heavy metals and mineral oils on raw materials.

“The Food Standards Agency will listen to what we have to say,” he said.

He also spoke about the important role NABIM plays in training and education saying it was a model other sectors could follow.

A distance learning course run by NABIM had been accessed by 40 per cent of the milling industry with 10 per cent of those going on to take advanced exams with NABIM.

He said NABIM had overseen a 25 per cent increase in productivity over the past 10 years.

“We are in an industry where people feel valued – this is a great association,” he said.

Mr Marriage also spoke of the need for the milling industry to attract young people.

“It is not easy – many people will only remember Dusty Miller – but hopefully with increased communication we can attract more young people.”

The floor was thrown open for questions from the audience and it began with one of the millers asking when gluten was going to be seen in a good light again.

Mr Marriage said: “It is very difficult to counter this – how are we going to bring gluten into the good side of things again, I don’t know it is not easy.”

He was also asked about ancient grains and he said: “I think they are called ancient grains for a reason.”

After his speech he awarded the NABIM Gold Medal to Liz Fowles for her thesis on the identification of wheat.

It was only the second time the gold medal had been awarded in the past three years.

Liz, who works for Heygates in Northamptonshire said she had worked long and hard on her thesis.

“It is nice to have your hard work acknowledged,” she said.