U.S.-based agribusiness Cargill announced in mid April that it has opened operations for a state-of-the-art feed premix production facility outside Amman, Jordan. The facility, which took roughly one year to complete, is part of the business’ approach towards ‘the development of the poultry, dairy and aqua industries,’ according to the managing director of the Middle East and Africa animal nutrition division. The new plant is expected to generate about 65,000 tonnes of premix per year. Premix is a blend of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are formulated and then blended with components such as soybean meal to formulate livestock feeds.

According to the Foreign Agricultural Service, soybean meal production has risen nearly 400 percent from 1.198 million tonnes in the 2000/01 marketing year to reach 4.208 million tonnes projected in the 2018/19 marketing year. The region’s import demand for soybean meal has risen at a slower pace over the timeframe, rising from 2.530 million tonnes in 2000/01 to a projected 4.600 million tonnes in 2018/19. These growing supplies are needed to spur growth in the region’s animal feed sector.

Capital expenditures such as the new facility in Jordan will help to spur the region’s growth and improve the efficiency of protein production. A Cargill spokesperson added that, after Africa, the Middle East region is expected to see the largest population growth by 2050. Along with population growth, consumers in developing economies also see shifts towards larger protein consumption in their diets. These factors should promote further investment in domestic poultry and aquaculture output, as well as fuel the region’s demand for feed ingredients such as high protein U.S. soybean meal.