Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trade Mission to China

Certainly the Chinese market for soybeans is big and it’s growing. If you look ahead you look at all the people and you look at all the development it’s amazing these cities that are as modern as any city in the world that I’ve ever been in and you see the growth continue and know there are some concerns around the recession and what it could do to demand. Undoubtedly, as we talked to people the demand for much of the meat products and some of the food products that they will continue to grow, maybe a little slower in the Chinese marketplace.

Expect growth in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou that area of the new economic development zone area where there’s been a lot of growth. Yet we got to Chengdu that’s considered an area that’s lesser developed and we’re there and there’s a shopping mall that is as impressive as any street shopping area that we have been. It was hard to find anybody under 25 years old, everyone is carrying a bag this was an impressive sight in an area considered the Southwest a long ways away from the coast. Western restaurants there as well and they’re feeding and using meat supply that has to be fed imported soybean meal.

One of the refrains used a lot was, “We’ve seen the future of China and we are not going back to the way things used to be.” In fact, this is so institutionalized it was impressive to hear the word market used and price used so many times. We said is your business going to expand into integrated livestock production and they said was it depends on the markets, it wasn’t it depends on the government policy or it depends on the 5-year plan, it was depends on the markets. And we constantly heard that, and in fact one of the other phrases we heard when we asked what can we do better for you and they said oh that’s simple it’s all in the price well it got more complex when we started talking about delivery speeds, but certainly price matters and they are very much a market economy now.

China is still one country that remains a mystery to me in this information age, it’s one of history and tradition vs. future and change.