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Agenda Overview

Day One: Tuesday 17 May 2016

17:30 – 19:30 Evening welcome cocktail reception


Day Two: Wednesday 18 May 2016

09:00   Registration and morning refreshments

09:05  Chairperson’s opening remarks

  1. Noubia Gribi, Vice President of Business Development, Blumberg Grain

09:05  Global grains and oilseeds outlook: how is the MENA region affected by regional market trends?

  • Import and export trends for wheat, corn and soy products
  • Production updates for key grain producing regions
  • Developments in MENA grain consumption patterns and quality requirements
  • How is ‘food security’ defined and measured?  How can MENA countries ensure that they are ‘food secure’?
  1. Dmitry Prikhodko, Economist – Investment Centre Division, Food & Agriculture Organisation of UN (FAO)

09:45  Macroeconomic outlook: impact of economic factors on the global agriculture sector

  • Regional unrest and other geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and Black Sea regions
  • Assessing the impact of China’s continued economic slowdown
  • Crude oil price outlook and its effect on the global Ag market
  • How are currency value changes affecting players in the MENA region?
  1. Mac Marshall, Economist, Monsanto

10:15  Morning refreshments and networking break

11:00  Traders’ panel: adapting strategies in a low-price market

  • What consolidation has been seen in the region and is this expected to continue?
  • Which origination markets are of most interest currently and why?
  • Are buyers’ requirements in the region changing dramatically?
  1. Moderator:  Gagan Gulati, Global Head - Agri, Trigon Gulf FZCO
  2. Donald Campbell, Head of Trading, Al Ghurair Resources
  3. James Wild, CEO - Middle East & Africa, Louis Dreyfus Commodities
  4. Scott Wellcome, Grains Trader, Hakan Agro DMCC


11:45  Ocean freight in crisis: an era of risks and opportunities for grain buyers

  • Ocean freight markets in crisis - a historical overview
  • Where is grain freight heading?  Supply and demand analysis and forecast
  • Managing the risks and capturing opportunities - a grain company perspective
  • Ocean freight - MENA’s perspective
  1. Voytek Chelkowski, Managing Director, Seamind Pte Ltd
  2. Thomas Lisowski, Associate, Seamind Pte Ltd

12:45  Networking lunch

14:15  The development of food security programmes in North African countries

  • An overview of current food security systems in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco
  • How can post-harvest losses be reduced?
  • Is North Africa an attractive market for investors to target assets?
  • What initiatives are in the pipeline?
  1. David Blumberg, CEO – Middle East & Africa, Blumberg Partners

14:45  Black Sea grain: will Russia and Ukraine continue to be dominant forces in the region?

  • New crop quality – how have crops survived the winter and how is the new planting campaign progressing?
  • Pricing outlook – how will increased competition from other regions influence prices?
  • Analysing the impact of sanctions and other geopolitical issues on trade flows
  • Potential export taxes and their implications for players in the region
  1. Moderator:  Dmitri Rylko, General Director, IKAR
  2. Oleg Kryukovskiy, Head of Trading, GTCS Trading DMCC
  3. Swithun Still, Director, Solaris Commodities

15:45  Afternoon refreshments and networking break

16:30  India and Bangladesh: recent progress and outlook for the coming years

  • Current export levels of wheat and soy into the Middle East
  • Assessing the price and quality of Indian and Bangladeshi grains
  • Do these products meet MENA millers’ requirements?
  • Update on domestic policies and how these affect grain exports
  1. Sumit Gupta, Business Manager, Gargaon, India, McDonald Pelz

17:00  Overview of the Turkish grains market

  • Wheat, corn and barley production figures and outlook for the coming season
  • Are there quality concerns over products sources domestically?
  • Which regions are being targeted for imports?  How are geopolitical issues affecting trade? 
  • Turkish wheat flour and feed export performance
  1. Günhan Ulusoy, CEO, Ulusoy Flour Mills

17:30  End of day two and networking drinks reception


Day Three: Thursday 19 May 2016

08:55  Chairperson’s opening remarks

09:00  End users’ perspective: discussing the procurement strategies of feed and flour millers in the MENA region

  • Regional flour and feed millers’ demand outlook
  • What are the quality and price requirements for millers in MENA countries?
  • How do consumption patterns affect procurement strategies?
  • In which ways do state buying agencies’ strategies differ?
  • What import requirements do MENA countries have and how does this affect supplier costs?
  1. Adrian Stock, Procurement Director, Agthia


10:00  Weather trends and the global grain markets: is La Niña on the horizon?

  • How did the historical strong El Niño impact grain markets?
  • Will a transition to La Niña occur and what impact could it have on global crop yields and production?
  • Summer forecast for the major Northern Hemisphere growing regions
  1. Kyle Tapley, Senior Agricultural Meteorologist, MDA Weather Services

10:30  Refreshments and networking break

    11:15  South American origination: can Brazil and Argentina increase their presence in the region?

    • Export policy changes in Argentina – how has this affected trading flows?
    • Role reversal – deepening Brazilian recession and Argentina’s promising recovery
    • Real and potential grains export – where are they going and in what volumes?
    • Soy crushing capacity and future demand
    • Have infrastructure limitations been overcome?  What new projects are in the pipeline?
    1. Rael Chapaval, Broker, America Corretora
    2. Arthur da Anunciacao Neto, Manager, Alphamar

    12:00  Opportunities and associated challenges in the Iranian agricultural market

    • Iranian wheat, corn and barley production capabilities
    • Wheat import ban – is self-sufficiency realistic?
    • What will the easing of sanctions mean for global grain traders?
    • Update on banking, shipping and storage restrictions
    1. Sharif Nezam-Mafi, Chairman of the Board, Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce

    12:45  Close of conference followed by networking lunch

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