China imported 895 million bushels of whole U.S. soybeans last year –more than half of all U.S. soybeans exported. In honor of this important relationship, a delegation of U.S. soybean farmers representing the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association and the U.S. Soybean Export Council plan to recognize the past 30 years of developing this partnership.
“U.S. soybean farmers go beyond providing our Chinese customers with a reliable supply of high-quality soybeans,” says Vanessa Kummer, USB chair and a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D. “We have a partnership devoted to helping China reach its food-security and -safety goals in the 21st century. The soy checkoff, and my fellow soybean farmers representing ASA and USSEC, honor the anniversary of this valued and important partnership.”
U.S. soybean farmers started laying the foundation for today's strong trade relations with China in 1982. Ever since, the United States has been a committed partner with China in meeting its long-term goal of sustainable food security.
“The creation of the partnership mutually benefits both Chinese soy customers and U.S. soybean farmers,” says ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “Since ASA opened its Beijing international marketing development office in 1982, China has quickly risen to become the largest customer of U.S. soy – importing more than $11 billion today. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”
U.S. soybean farmers' activities to help expand Chinese agriculture and agribusiness have played a part in China's increasing production of meat, poultry and fish products. The effort to modernize and develop China's animal-agriculture industry contributes to its food security and supports the animal-production goals outlined in China's 12th Five-Year Plan.
“As we celebrate this important milestone, we look forward to further growth of this partnership and providing China with an exceptional product,” says Roy Bardole, USSEC chairman and soybean farmer from Rippey, Iowa. “We remain committed to providing China, and our other customers around the world, the highest-quality soybeans.”
A Chinese delegation highlighted the promising future for this relationship earlier this year by committing to purchase more than $6 billion worth of U.S. soybeans during signing ceremonies in Des Moines, Iowa, and Los Angeles. Altogether, these commitments total more than 13.4 million metric tons, or 492.3 million bushels of U.S. soy, and set a new record for U.S. soybean purchase commitments made in one signing trip.
In conjunction with the formal recognition of the 30-year partnership between the U.S. soybean sector and China, the U.S. group plans to tour a soy crushing plant in northern China, visit Jianguo Poultry Company and participate in a round-table discussion with Chinese soy leaders.