Monday, March 12
Berk Boehne, Jeremy Frerichs, & Matt Murphy – Presiding Fellows
We started out the day with a beautiful Monday morning in Vietnam. We have been so lucky throughout this trip with near perfect weather. Our first stop was to Interflour Vietnam Ltd, a processor of primarily wheat, barley, corn, and fish meal. We were briefed from Mr. Luong Quang Minh, the senior director of the port facility. Interflour is the flour power of Vietnam. They have over 100 different distributors from North and South Vietnam. Their malting plant has the capacity of 360 metric tons per day. Their flour bag warehouse gets turned every 7 days. With the products that they deal in, 60% gets exported and the rest stays in Vietnam. Most of their grain comes from Australia, USA, Canada, Ukraine and India. The lead time on a Panamax ship from Australia to port is 12 days and the US is 30 days.
After a delicious lunch at a resort way off the beaten path, we proceeded out to Bunge, Vietnam. There we met with Nguyen Dang Son, County Controller. We also had a few other visitors from the plant including the plant manager. Bunge, Vietnam crushes 750,000 metric tons of meal a year. The facility was very clean and modern. We were reaffirmed that the US soybeans have the best quality in the world. They did mention that they are seeing shipments coming to port with a higher amount of weed seeds. We were fortunate that the plant manager stayed with us and took us next door to the sea port unloading facility. This port unloads Panamax ships, only. This port also only deals with bulk commodities, fertilizers and steel. Over 1000 trucks come in and out of the port daily. The port offloads 5.5 million metric tons a year and wants to get to 7 million. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for a few minutes to look at a pagoda. Travel day tomorrow to Taiwan.