U.S. soybean farmers exported a record-breaking 2.6 billion bushels of U.S. soy and soy products, valued at more than $28 billion last market year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. also set a new record high in combined volume of the whole soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil exported in 2017/2018, with soybean meal exports accounting for the greatest growth.
Derek Haigwood, a soybean farmer from Newport, Arkansas and chairman of U.S. Soybean Export Council and director for United Soybean Board, said he expects to see the impact of trade issues in the next, 2018/2019, marketing year. The official marketing year runs from October 1 to September 30. Exports during the 2017/2018 marketing year would not have been largely impacted by the tariffs introduced by China as shipments abroad normally take place after harvest (October-December).
USSEC recently initiated the “What it Takes” strategy to grow U.S. soybean demand worldwide and mitigate export losses to China.
“Particularly at a time when global trade flows have dramatically changed, it is critical that we ensure access in all markets that want to purchase U.S. soybeans and soy products,” Haigwood said.
Keith Tapp, chair of USB and farmer from Sebree, Kentucky, says the dedication to opening new markets for soy has been and will remain a priority USB investment and support.
“Our work to build the preference for U.S. soy is more important than ever,” he said. “Soy production is growing worldwide, and we continue to work across borders, industries and disciplines to find and develop markets for U.S. soy products.”
In cooperation with USB and USSEC, the American Soybean Association continues to advocate that President Donald Trump’s administration and Congress maintain market access through passage of the USMCA as well as negotiate new free trade agreements to build additional market access for U.S. soybeans.
“U.S. soy is exported to more than 100 markets today,” Liz Hare, executive director of ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program says, “and there are opportunities in emerging markets with lots of room to grow.”
Globally, soy demand is forecasted to grow by about 15 million tons in 2019, according to economists at the USSEC.