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ISA issues Cuba mission advisory

Published: Friday, April 6, 2012 4:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012 6:30 p.m. CDT

According to the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois soybean farmers are losing market share in Cuba to competitors who are geographically more distant. In 2006, the United States had more than 75 percent of the market share of Cuba’s soybean meal and oil imports. Today, Brazil has more than 75 percent.

ISA favors the immediate removal of agricultural trade restrictions for Cuba, and urges Cuban eligibility for Foreign Market Development, Market Access Program, Export Credit Guarantee Program and other government credit programs.

ISA representatives traveled to Cuba earlier this month on a mission funded with non-checkoff dollars to learn more about its potential. Cuba is an important market for Illinois soybean farmers and increased tourism and prosperity there will likely lead to a greater demand for soy.

The goals of the mission were to:

• Build relationships with key individuals and organizations that buy and use soybeans.

• Gain intimate knowledge of supply and demand dynamics for soy in Cuba.

• Learn how Illinois can be the preferred supplier of soy to Cuba.

• Set the stage for future visits and mutually beneficial supplier agreements.

ISA believes Illinois is well positioned to be Cuba’s best supplier of soybeans and soybean products, given the state’s logistical advantages and commitment to quality.

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