With all eyes on the continuing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, it’s important to remember that the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the international marketing arm of the U.S. soy industry, has been working diligently for years to develop and maintain relationships in multiple global markets.
USSEC’s “What it Takes” initiative looks to maximize opportunities and maintain the level of U.S. soy exports at approximately 60 percent by assembling projections in other global markets to mitigate volume losses to China.
Starting in November 2018, USSEC began hosting a series of special marketing seminars, “Experience Today’s U.S. Soy Advantage,” which provide current and potential customers of U.S. Soy with in-depth information about the U.S. Soy Advantage. These seminars support the “What it Takes” initiative by aiming to raise the awareness of the intrinsic and extrinsic values of U.S. Soy and build a preference for U.S. Soy and soy products with international companies in targeted markets. Around the world, uSSEC is leveraging its relationships in a host of markets, connecting buyers and sellers to encourage a longer term trading program that extends beyond the typical seasonality as it plans events as part of USSEC’s larger trade mitigation work.
In addition to (non-China) Asian markets, which The Soybean Sentinel covered last fall, USSEC has its eye on standout markets in multiple other regions, including the Americas, the Asia Sub-continent, Europe, and the Middle East/North Africa.
The European feed industry is growing at a three percent rate and is the world’s largest soybean meal importer with a highly competitive market. There is an increasing valuation for U.S. soybean meal as feed formulation tables value soybean meal by origin.
Globally, Europe is the second fastest growth poultry and pork industry by volume over the last five years. Particularly in the European market, sustainability is a priority. USSEC continues to help make it a key differentiator and a competitive advantage. Countries with largest bushel increases this marketing year include Spain, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal.
Middle East/North Africa
Crush capacity continues to increase in this market, particularly in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Lebanon. Through investment, the animal ag industry is growing and the feed, poultry, dairy, and aquaculture industries are increasing their business as the region stabilizes.
U.S. Soy has an excellent opportunity in Egypt for aquaculture, as technology for intensive pond raceway systems has been adapted there. There are additional prospects in North Africa and the Gulf region on a smaller scale.
Other opportunities for U.S. Soy in this region include an increase in soy extrusion, growth in regional soybean oil refining, chances to increase soybean oil in feed formulations, and strong Saudi poultry and dairy industries providing opportunities in bypass meal exports.
Egypt is the region’s largest importer of U.S. Soy, followed by Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Israel. Poultry growth is strong here, but the region is also slightly increasing its focus on dairy and aquaculture.
This region is the largest U.S. export market for soybean meal, soybean oil, and soy ingredients. The market in the Americas continues to grow for whole beans, meal, and oil. With its economic growth, the region will continue to increase demand in meat, poultry meat, and eggs, in addition to production growth, continuing to be dependent on imports of grains and oil seeds.
Sustainability is increasingly deemed a product differentiator. Full fat soybean meal is becoming more popular in the region, providing a good opportunity for U.S. Soy. And high oleic soybean oil is creating some excitement here.
While Mexico has long been a regional mainstay, Colombia also stands out as a key growth market.
This region, which consists of five growing countries, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, is classified as a “basic” market space in USSEC’s enhanced marketing strategy.
In basic markets, soy consumption is currently very low, however, potential is very large. USSEC has put a refreshed emphasis on basic markets, which typically have large populations, growing economies, and very low protein consumption. As the U.S. soy industry is successful in areas such as the Asia Subcontinent, this will create large demand growth and new future opportunities for U.S. soy exports. While this work is not short-term, it should pay out dividends in the future. As in the case of China, building long-term demand takes time, but can reap big rewards in the long-term.