Market development, late-season surges and a record high for soy exports indicate a promising future for U.S. soybean farmers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau for the 2015-16 marketing year, U.S. soybean farmers exported more than 2.37 billion bu. of U.S. soy and soy products, up 60 million bu. from last year.
The growth in U.S. soy exports can be attributed to a number of factors, the United Soybean Board (USB) said.
"Soy demand worldwide is growing, and U.S. soy’s reputation as a consistent, reliable supplier is positioning U.S. soybean farmers to capitalize on those markets. The soy checkoff is working in more than 70 countries around the world to ensure the advantages U.S. soy brings to the table are known by global buyers," the group said.
“Soy exports are critical to my bottom line,” said Derek Haigwood, soybean farmer from Newport, Ark., and director on both USB and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. “Record-breaking harvest supplies need record-breaking export demand. As the soy supply increases, we’ll need to continue to develop these markets to increase farmer profitability.”
One area of particular growth is in the Asian subcontinent, often referred to as the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. While India’s strong domestic demand taps into their exports, it opens opportunities for U.S. soy in new markets like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“U.S. soy is uniquely positioned to gain more market share in countries across the globe,” said Haigwood. “We have an abundant supply of sustainably grown soy that can be reliably shipped to customers at any time of the year.”
While many customers aren’t exclusive to U.S. soy, USB said limited Brazilian supplies helped create a late-year surge for U.S. soy in existing markets such as China, Mexico and Europe. U.S. soy’s year-round availability and continued growth in supplies help to create preference for U.S. soy and helps U.S. soybean farmers continue to meet buyers’ needs.
USB’s 73 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research & Consumer Information Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.