The US soybean market is the world’s largest in terms of production and exports. In the US, soybean is the second most planted agricultural crop behind corn, thus becoming a vital commodity to the country’s booming agriculture industry. With soybeans remaining as one of the most popular agricultural products in human consumption and animal feed sectors, leading soybean suppliers in the US are expected to further strengthen their dominant position in the global soybean market. As the demand for soybeans continues to flourish, so does business opportunities in the soybean market in the United States.
The prominence of the US soybean market is facilitated by several factors including low production costs and a greater number of 50-50 corn-soybean rotations, which can result in higher corn and soybean yields than the respective monocultures. Moreover, soybean in the US is also one of the first crop types that have been genetically modified (GM), therefore can achieve greater commercial success.
The US soybean market overview
Soybean production in the US totaled a record high of 4.31 billion bushels in 2016, according to the latest statistics reported by Statista. The average soybean yield is estimated at a record high 52.1 bushels per acre, 4.1 bushels above last year’s yield. Harvested area in 2016 was also a record largest at 82.7 million acres. More than 80% of soybeans are cultivated in the upper Midwest. Currently, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota are among the leading soybean producing states in the US.
A recent report from the USDA suggests that there might be another record-setting soybean crop harvested in 2017. Soybean yields are projected at 49.5 bushels per acre, down 2.5 bushels from last year’s record. However, due to record soybean acreage planted and harvested, total U.S. soybean production is projected at an all-time high of 4.4 billion bushels, up 3% from the prior record of 4.3 billion bushels established in 2016.
The USDA also projects that soybean consumption is at a new record high of 4.3 billion bushels, up 2.7 percent from the previous record set during the 2016/17 marketing year. Driven by surging Chinese demand — the largest consumption category for soybeans for the last three years has been exports. Soybean exports in 2017 are projected at a record 2.25 billion bushels, up by 3.5% from the previous record set in 2016.
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Exports from the US soybean market
According to the latest trading data from International Trade Centre (ITC), in 2016, the USA exported about $22.9 billion worth or equivalent of 57.8 million tons of soybeans to the global market, representing approximately 43.8% of the world’s total soybean supplies in that year, making it again the world’s largest soybean exporter. China has been the largest importer of soybean from the USA over recent decades; over 31 million metric tons of soybeans are exported to China every year, representing over 62% of the US total soybean exports per annum. Other major importers of the US soybeans include Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.
The rise of the organic soybean market
Over the recent years, the organic soybean market has experienced the fastest growth rate among all soybean segments, mainly driven by the fact that soymilk and tofu, as the main food source for dairy-free and meat-free diet, have been widely recognized for their health attributes.
In 2016 organic soybeans were produced on 124,591 acres in the United States, compared to 94,841 in 2015. Iowa reported the largest number of acres planted to certified organic soybeans that year: 20,547. That same year, Minnesota had 13,893 acres planted in organic soybeans, and Michigan had 10,815 acres.
It’s expected that the business opportunities will likely continue to develop for organic soybeans for use in food production for human consumption. Meanwhile, there will also be increasing demand from the animal feed industry in supporting the needs of organic livestock production.
Connect with top soybean suppliers in the US
Due to its dominance, The US soybean market has attracted a significant number of buyers and traders from all over the world. To help your soybean business stays at the top of the industry, BizVibe provides the best solutions to source products and make the best business deals with top soybean suppliers in the US. Don’t miss your chance to connect with the best industry suppliers, manufacturers, and companies on BizVibe.
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