A trade delegation from China made significant purchasing agreements on July 13, signing contracts for 460 million bushels of U.S. Soy worth more than $5 billion at a USSEC-hosted event in Des Moines, Iowa. This amount is more than $1 billion more than contracts signed at similar events last year and is a near-record amount.

The delegation represents Chinese buyers from more than 11 companies, who were hosted by USSEC with support from the United Soybean Board (USB), American Soybean Association (ASA), and Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). The trade delegation was led by Bian Zhenhu, president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA).

With the world’s largest swineherd and a growing middle class eating more meat and consuming more protein, China remains U.S. Soy’s number one customer. The country buys more than 60 percent of all soybeans exported worldwide.

“The U.S. Soy industry has a rich, 35-year history working with Chinese industries,” says Xiaoping Zhang, USSEC Country Director–China. “This week’s event, and the participation of Bian Zhenhu and the CFNA, symbolizes the value of U.S. soybean farmers’ 2017 crop, before it’s even harvested – and is evidence of the enhanced trade agreements between the two countries.”

Photo courtesy of Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association

China’s preference for U.S. Soy can be attributed in large part to the U.S. Soy Advantage, including exceptional composition, a consistent supply and a sustainable product.

“U.S. soybean farmers can feel confident in the long-term, global demand that exists for the products they grow,” says USSEC chairman and Nebraska soybean farmer Jim Miller. “U.S. soybean farmers have done an exceptional job of rising to meet the demands of their global customers, from sustainability to compositional quality. This commitment shows our global customers are taking notice.”

And taking notice they are, as participants traveled 7,500 miles to attend this week’s ceremony in Iowa.

“We buy U.S. soybeans because they are sustainable and backed by reliable support,” says Chinese delegation member Jeffrey Zu, who participated in the signing ceremony.