From March 7-9, the VIV Asia tradeshow took place in the Thai capital Bangkok. A large crowd of visitors, primarily from Asia, came to the show in the BITEC exhibition centre to meet with the many exhibitors that were on display, resulting in excellent business contacts. This is logical. After all, Asia is the place to be.
By Ad Bal
By far the biggest growth region for poultry is Asia. Particularly countries such as India and China with their enormous populations, are growing rapidly. Along with their economic growth and gradually increased incomes, consumption of poultry and eggs keeps rising. Of course, this also rings true for other countries in the region but the volumes are in China and India.VIV Asia attracted almost 30,000 visitors, which was about 40% more than at the 2009 edition. Not just that, also the number of exhibitors had gone up to 700, of which 246 were at VIV Asia for the first time. Most of the newcomers operate in the feed milling equipment, feed ingredients and animal health sectors. Feedback from all of them was very positive: on a scale of 1 to 10, exhibitors rated it 8.1 and visitors as high as 8.4.
Special themes VIV Asia featured three new special themes: Feedtech-Croptech Asia, LAB@VIV Asia and ChinaVisions. There was also an extensive conference programme with in-depth coverage of all the sectors of the exhibition, with a special focus on Bioenergy. For three days, Feedtech-Croptech Asia truly was the centre of the Asia-Pacific milling industries. LAB@VIV Asia effectively targeted the feed and food laboratory business. ChinaVisions was the international summit for the Chinese animal production and processing industries. Moderated by Gordon Butland from Thailand, major issues on the pork and poultry situation on the Chinese market were addressed by MA Chuang of the China Animal Agriculture Association.
According to Chuang, the livestock business in China, after 30 years of rapid growth, is essentially in equilibrium of supply and demand.Producing and consuming over 40% of meat and egg products in the world, China’s 60 kg per capita consumption is more than the world average of 40 kg per capita. But there are also problems which have to be tackled; environmental issues, disease outbreaks and food safety scandals, shortage of raw materials and inefficient production methods are observed. China’s 2010 feed production amounted to 156 million tonnes and the country absorbed approximately 60% of global soy bean exports.
As a result, new technology and better production methods have to be introduced. All this will have to fit in the new five year development programme of China which started this year. Chuang stressed that restructuring of the livestock business is needed and that China should move more closely into international cooperation.
Interest in broiler cages Although broiler cages are not a new phenomenon, quite a few suppliers of housing systems had these cages on display at VIV Asia. Due to legislation and welfare issues, broiler cages are not allowed in the EU, but in many other countries there’s a good demand for it. Broiler cages offer various advantages. Firstly, the house can be used more effectively since more birds can be kept per square meter. Depending on the final growing weight andwhether 3 or 4 tier batteries are used, the number of birds can be two to three times more, compared to conventional systems.
Moreover, no litter is used, meaning that usually disease pressure is lower and no antibiotics are needed. Also the number of breast blisters is lower, leading to better carcass quality. Unloading is done automatically via the (pre-cleaned) manure belt, which saves on labour costs. Summing up these and other advantages, broiler cages seem to be an interesting alternative to traditional flooring systems and VIV Asia was a good opportunity to gain knowledge in this field.
Compatible cargo system
VIV Asia is not really the platform for introducing new products. Yet a few innovative products were on display. Such as the new HatchCargoSystem (HCS) of Twinpack. This is a patented way of stacking trays, meaning there is no need for the use of metal trolleys any more. HCS trays contain 150 eggs each and have several advantages in transport. The trays can easily be stacked and unstacked due to their construction and can load up to 40% more eggs on the same floor size compared to the metal trolleys.
Together with Prinzen Machines, Twinpack developed machines to fully automatically load and unload the pallets. HCS is compatible with almost all commonly used machines, transport conveyors, wash equipment and pre-hatch trolleys being used in the industry.
Sunny outlook According to show organisers VNU Exhibitions from the Netherlands and NEO from Thailand, VIV Asia has proved to be an excellent venue for the animal protein business. During the show in Bangkok, both organisations announced that together they will also start organising VIV Ildex India in February 2012 in Bangalore India. Thus far, both NEO and VNU organised their own shows, but now they have teamed up to organise one biannual event together. Also the outlook for VIV Asia 2013 is sunny. A third of the exhibitors at this years event have registered already for the next edition which is scheduled for 13-15 March, again at BITEC in Bangkok.
“Feed prices are here to stay, Brazil’s corn potential could grow faster, Russia will soon become self-sufficient with regard to pig and poultry production and China will most likely face large grain imports.”
In short, these were some of the key elements of the presentation of David C. Nelson, global strategist, Animal Protein, Grains & Oil Seeds at the official opening of VIV Asia. His topic was ‘Focus 2021’ an attempt to look ten years into the future for global agriculture in general, and Asian agriculture in particular.Feed prices will remain high, Nelson said, as yield improvements are decelerating and the challenge remains to service growing markets. One of the countries that could well profit from this growth could be Brazil, he said. The country had, however, increased its total surface of planted crops by a mere 1% in 2010-2011. Input costs, fertiliser prices, land prices and an unfavourable currency were named as reasons why the message to grow more crops in Brazil was not yet taken up.
Nelson also compared Brazil’s Mato Grosso province to the Black Sea region in Ukraine/Russia. Both have high potential, but are relatively landlocked and badly reachable – hence high transport costs need to be added to relatively low costs of cultivation. At the moment, JBS, Tyson and Smithfield top the ranks of largest meat producers in the world. These companies will be challenged, Nelson mentioned. The last couple of years already saw the rise of the Brazilian conglomerates, and the size of Russian and Chinese integrators is growing rapidly.Russia’s official policy is to become self-sufficient in protein production, i.e. domestic production will meet domestic demand. Nelson expected Russia to be at 85% in 2015 and at 95% in 2020. “What this means? All meat exporting countries have to find new markets!”