Grain Academy 2018

What to expect

Take your seat and be prepared for an intensive programme with the latest up-to-date analytic data about the cereals and oilseeds business and trade – guaranteed by our first-class speakers, some of the most reputable experts on the international and Bulgarian markets.

The place

Grain Academy conference is going to take place in Varna for a 3rd time. The city is a natural trade centre and the main port for grains and oilseeds exports from Bulgaria. Aquire knowledge of the top trends on the grain markets while enjoying the nice seaview in Golden Sands resort near Varna.

Organised by

The teams of Agricore and AgroPortal in partnership with the Bulgarian Association of Grain and Feed Traders (BAGFT) and the National Grain Producers Association (NGPA) have the privilege to organise the event of the year in the sector of grain and oil seeds production, processing and trade.

Learn more

Highlights in 2018 edition

Overview of the cereal and oilseeds markets around the world;

Trade war: USA – China and its influence on the markets;

Environmental factors – macroeconomics, politics, climate and population;

Trends in the usage of futures’ market instruments;

Physical market against the Futures market – is the relationship broken?

The increasing role of oilseeds, feedstuff, pulses and organic products in the global trade;

Black Sea region as a key part for the world trade and production;

Future of biodiesel, high-oleic and tropical oils;

Major grain and oilseed producers – trends and challenges;

Sponsorship and advertising

Grain Academy is a meeting point of the leading companies and experts on the grain market. Participants from the main organisations and businesses will have the opportunity to obtain actual information and to discuss the up-to-date trends on the markets of cereals and oil seeds. Trade companies from Bulgaria and abroad, branches of multinational corporations, farmers, Crushers, forwarders, surveyors, charterers, industry associations and etc. will meet on the 3rd edition of Grain Academy event.

Are you interested in advertising your company?

... or to be the Event App Sponsor?

Speakers 2018

See more about our speakers

Jay O’Neil has 45 years of experience in global commodity markets. He started out of college with Continental Grain Company in San Francisco, where he worked as a grain trader. The next seven years he was with the Pillsbury Company of Minneapolis. Then he served with the Ferruzzi Group of Ravenna, Italy, in its New Orleans office. Jay O’Neil was with Bartlett Grain Company for 17 years serving as general manager of the transportation and export divisions. For the past twelve years, Jay has operated his own private consulting company, which publishes a private weekly ocean freight and transportation report covering the dry-bulk and containerized grain markets. Jay has just retired from his 12-year position as the senior agricultural economist for the International Grains Program at Kansas State University. Jay served for many years on the National Grain & Feed Association’s Trade Rules committee. He is also a past chairman and an emeritus member of the North American Export Grain Association’s Contracts and Arbitration Committee. Jay continues to serve as an arbitrator with this trade association.

Jay O’Neil O’Neil Commodity Consulting, USA; International Grains Program, Kansas State University

Veysel Kaya has B.Sc. degree in Food Engineering and worked for a food company Trakya Birlik between 1998 and 2014. During his time there, he was involved in foreign correspondence, worldwide Oilseeds, Vegoils, Oilmeals markets and so to launch Daily/Weekly price sheets and market reports as well as to serve the import trade of the company. By 21st July, 2014, he resigned from Trakya Birlik and established his own company SUNSEEDMAN, as his market-known nickname. SUNSEEDMAN is a private company, mainly engaged in reporting, analyses, consulting and brokerage of agrocommodities – mainly Sun Complex.

Veysel Kaya Sunseedman, Turkey

Trifon Vasilev has 13 years of experience in the fertilizer industry, he is the founder of Fertiland EOOD and former director of the Bulgarian branch of Nitrogenmuvek Zrt. – the only granulated nitrogen fertilizer plant in Hungary. Vasilev started his career in the agro-sector in 2005 in Haygrove farms – Britain’s largest organic fruit and vegetable producer. From 2007 to 2012 he heads the Agrochemicals Division to the largest distributor of chemical raw materials in the Balkans at that time – Neohimiki Group (Greee) and in 2013 and 2014 is Marketing and Product Manager of Monsanto for Bulgaria. Vasilev holds a bachelor’s degree in General Agronomy and Foreign Trade from Agricultural University – Plovdiv. He has also graduated in Е/МВА from COTRUGLI Business School Croatia, as well as in Marketing from Central European University Hungary.

Trifon Vasilev Fertiland, Bulgaria

After spending 12 years in different positions as a trader and senior manager with the Louis-Dreyfus group, Stéphane Bernhard was involved in its own trading-related projects from 2007 to February 2014. Since March 2014, Stephane is the Managing Director of InVivo Trading, the leading French farming cooperative and one of the leading grains and oilseeds operator in the European Union.

Stephane Bernhard InVivo Trading, France

Jose Garcia has a degree in Economics from the University of Seville and also degree in Food Business Management from IIST from 2015. During the last 29 years, he has been involved in the Oilseeds, Oils & Fats business first in the Sales department in Cargill España, S.A. from May 1989 until March 1996 and then as a Sales Director in Lípidos Santiga, S.A., (since April 1996 till now). Lipidos Santiga (LipSa) is a family owned company founded in 1968 that started processing oils and fats in 1973. The company owns two refineries in the area of Barcelona and Huelva with a combined annual processing capacity of over 850 thousand tons. LipSa processes palm, coconut, sunflower, rapeseed, soybean and corn oils. Currently, LipSa is exporting to the 5 continents to over 40 different countries

Jose Angel Olivero Garcia Lipidos Santiga, Spain

Ofelia Nalbant has been working in Agribusiness since 1995; 5 years with Continental Grains Romania, 5 years at Alfred C.Toepfer International, 5 years at Bunge and 7 years now at Agrium always on Commercial side of the business… Graduated in Geophysical Engineering at Bucharest University and Master in International Trade + first “lady” broker at Romanian Commodity Exchange + Vice president of ARCPA + Vice president of Grain Grading Committee + the “eldest” in the market now …

Ofelia Nalbant Market analyst and consultant, Romania

Elizaveta Malyshko – head of research department in “UkrAgroConsult”. Consulting agency UkrAgroConsult has over 20 years of expertise in agricultural markets of Ukraine and the Black Sea region. Agency provides agribusiness with quality and independent reports, combining assessment of the global economic trends with current information and forecasts on the Black Sea commodities market.
As an expert in the field of agrarian analytics, Elizaveta took part in the preparation of studies for the largest international organizations, banks and traders.

Elizaveta Malyshko UkrAgroConsult, Ukraine

Spyros is the Commercial Director – Chief Trader of Alimeco Group of Companies, based in Athens Greece. The Group, established since 1976, is a Commodity Trading Group, active in Grains (for food and feed use), protein meals and By-products. Since 2008, they also carry an Organic Division, being active in Organic Grains mainly- EU and non-EU destinations. Spyros joined the Group since 2006, after having pursued a career in FMCGs and FMEGs sectors. Having worked for 12 years in Sales and Marketing at Unilever, Heineken NL and Sony Telecoms, he carries a serious Commercial Background that supports him in his current demanding trading role. His educational background is supported by a Management degree in the University of Athens, an MBA with specialisation in Management at Warwick Business School-UK and an AMP with specialisation in Commodities/Financial Markets at Wharton-UPENN US. Along with his current carrier, Spyros is an active Trading Consultant for United Nations in the area of Black Sea, being responsible for creating business relations between companies in the said area of 14 countries.
In personal aspect, Spyros is married with 2 children, Pavlos and Dimitris. His free time is mainly spent with the family. Together they love to travel within EU and Overseas and to exercise sports activities like windsurfing, sailing and trekking.

Spyros Samout Alimeco S.A., Greece

Denis started his career in agribusiness in 2011 in Nedlands Overseas as an oils and oilseeds trader. Two years later he joined Actava Trading DMCC for a couple of years. In 2015 he founded Agropa Trading, cash commodity brokerage company, covering a broad range of agricultural raw materials and by-products focusing on origination in the Black Sea and destination business into Turkey, the Mediterranean Sea, Europe, Persian Gulf and Asia.
Denis is particularly known for his experience in pulses market.

Denis Plenkin Agropa Trading LLC, Russia

Chavdar is amongst the most experienced agribusiness professionals in the region. For 23 years he has been managing and trading for some of the major players in the market, including Bunge, Zarneni Hrani and Oliva. He was a partner in Balkan’s Agri Fund and served as a Senior agribusiness advisor for a global asset management firm. In 2016 Chavdar started his own trading boutique house Granex, focused on the Bulgarian and Black Sea grains. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of economics Varna and numerous executive programs from IMD, LBS and ESADE.

Chavdar Trifonov Graneks EOOD, Bulgaria

General Director of The Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR), Ph.D., Dmitry Rylko was born in 1957 in Bryansk. Graduated with distinction from the Economics Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Since 1983 Dmitry worked at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in in a variety of positions. From 1996 – Head of the Center for Agribusiness IMEMO. Among the main tasks of the Centre is a study of problems and development trends of Russian and foreign agribusiness, the main directions of scientific and technical progress in agribusiness (biotechnology), land issues in various countries around the world, marketing and pricing issues in agribusiness in Russia; issues related to the functioning of the Russian food market. Since October 2001, Dmitry Rylko is a CEO of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR), an information-analytical agency, carrying out a wide range of applied and theoretical research in the field of global and domestic agro-food system. In the center of the Institute’s research is analysis of current condition and forecast of domestic ag food markets.

Dmitriy Rylko IKAR, Russia

Dr. Rory Deverell is a senior commodity risk manager for INTL-FCStone and has been analysing and commenting on agricultural markets for over 10 years. Rory’s background is in agriculture with agriculture degree and PhD from University College Dublin.
Rory worked as a trader for R&H Hall, Irelands largest feed ingredient import. Currently, Rory works for INTL-FCStone, one of the world’s leading agricultural commodity risk management firms assisting European grain producers, traders and end-users to manage their price risk.

Dr. Rory Deverell INTL FCStone, Ireland

Miyko Hristov began his career as a commodity trader in 2010 when he joined the trading team at Spetema Cafe. Later that year, he became part of Venianina Ltd, working as a Senior Trader for soft commodities for the next 4 years. In 2014, Miyko joined Cargill Bulgaria, actively trading with grains, oilseeds, meals and byproducts both in Bulgaria and the Black Sea region. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degree in International Economic Relations, as well as master’s degree in Finance from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia.

Miyko Hristov Cargill Bulgaria


8:30 - 9:30      Registration

9:30 - 11:00    Review of macro factors for 2018 / 2019

Rory Deverell, INTL FCStone, Ireland:   The fundamentals of new Black sea wheat and corn futures, exploring the role of funds, macro drivers and international markets in price discovery and risk management in this new market;

Stephane Bernhard, InVivo Trading, France:   What is the impact of the macro picture on the grains markets;

Jay O'Neil, USA:   What to watch in 2019 and Beyond;

11:00 - 11:30   Coffee break, sponsored by The Bulgarian Association of Grain and Feed Traders (BAGFT)

11:30 - 13:00   Development of the grains markets on the Balkans and Black Sea region

Ofelia Nalbant, Romania:   The past, the present and the future of grain markets and logistics in Romania;

Dmitriy Rylko, IKAR, Russia:   The Russian grain export in 2018/2019 - getting used to the role of №1 wheat exporter;

Moderator: Chavdar Trifonov, Granex, Bulgaria

13:00 - 14:30    Lunch in Bellini Hall Hotel International

14:30 - 16:00    Development of markets of oilseeds, meals and oils in Europe, the Balkans and the Black Sea region

Jose Angel Olivero, Lipidos Santiga, Spain:   A look to the high oleic oils, vegetable oil prices and RED II;

Veysel Kaya, Sunseedman, Turkey:   Global and regional new-crop outlook for oilseeds;

Elizaveta Malyshko, UkrAgroConsult, Ukraine:   The Ukrainian and Russian oilseed markets - trends and developments;

Moderator: Miyko Hristov, Cargill Bulgaria

16:00 - 16:30     Coffee break, sponsored by the National Grain Producers Association (NGPA)

16:30 - 17:30     Cost optimisation, alternative crops and profitability improvements

Spyros Samout, Alimeco, Greece:   European Organic Market Overview: Main Challenges, Trends and Key Issues of the sector;

Trifon Vasilev, Fertiland, Bulgaria:   Latest development and news in the fertilizers;

Denis Plenkin, Agropa Trading, Russia:   Pulses crops - main exporters/importers and difficulties in the present season;

19:00 - 20:30    Closing cocktail in Bellini Hall Hotel International


INTERNATIONAL Hotel Casino & Tower Suites 5*

Impressia Hall & Bellini Hall

Conference center, 1st floor in hotel International

Front Beach Alley, Golden Sands Resort, Varna 9007, Bulgaria

Previous editions


Partners & Speakers

• InVivo Trading   • INTL FCStone   • Lipidos Santiga S.A.  • Fertiland
• Alimeco S.A.  • ИКАР – Институт Конъюнктуры Аграрного Рынка

• Agropa Trading  • Sunseedman  • УкрАгроКонсулт

• Cargill Bulgaria  • Graneks EOOD

With the financial support of



With the support of

• The Bulgarian Association of Grain and Feed Traders (BAGFT)
• The Bulgarian Association of Agricultural Producers (BAAP)
• The National Grain Producer Association (NGPA)
• America For Bulgaria Foundation

Media partner

• Agrozona