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The above comment came from one of our Chinese hosts this morning after a brief discussion on the global economic situation. And after spending a week now in China, most of the American farmers I'm here with would agree: if there is one country well positioned to pull the world out of recession, it has to be China. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I've spent a week now with a group of U.S. farmers, learning about this country's incredible market potential. The tour, organized by the Illinois Farm Bureau, includes 17 farmers and two guests from the Ohio Farm Bureau. We've seen so much in just a few days, and now everyone is trying to wrap their heads around what we're soaking up.
This morning we met with Wiley Wang (left), South China Commercial manager for Cargill here in
Cargill opened its doors here in the mid 70s shortly after Richard Nixon made his now famous visit to
Wang told us the company favors soybeans out of the Gulf for their color and protein. Soy meal customers here come in all sizes — from large feed companies to smaller retailers. They are sensitive to appearance, color, granulation and odor. "We have a lot more small customers who are sensitive and focus on tradition and habit,bCrLf he says. "That's one reason we don't like the Brazilian bean as much. Its color is not as nice, even though it has a slightly higher protein level.bCrLf
The good news out of our meeting this morning with Cargill is that there's more growth ahead for China-bound soybeans. Wang believes people are still adding protein to their diets as incomes improve, despite the economic slowdown. More important perhaps, is that there are many regions of
Left: Illinois farmer Alan Acheson inspects bagged soybean meal at the Cargill plant at Guangdong Province, China
The bad news is that Wang is the latest Chinese authority on this trip to tell us he doesn't see much short-term importing of corn to
And yes, Wang does believe his country's economic stimulus package - announced last week with a price tag of $600 billion - will work. "
"This is the economic engine that will bring