How to Buy U.S. Soy

Jay O'Neil

Jay O'Neil

IGP Institute - Kansas State University

U.S. Soy offers international buyers many advantages, both in quality and dependability of supply. Here are some tips and resources to help you begin your U.S. Soy purchasing journey.

Step 1: Do your research

The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) conducts workshops to educate customers on important aspects of U.S. Soy. Here are several options for learning more about the state of U.S. Soy:

Regional Workshops

USSEC hosts regional buyer and seller workshops across the globe several times a year. Attendees include traders, crushers, feed millers, integrators, key decision-makers and purchasing officers. These workshops teach participants about international trading objectives, the marketing of U.S. Soy and soybean meal and increasing U.S. Soy share in the region. These workshops cover topics including overviews of world soybean and soybean meal markets, U.S. grain production and marketing system, basis of trading and hedging, futures markets, principals of futures and options trading and simulations about purchasing. You can watch out for these events, here.

U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange

The upcoming sixth annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange and Midwest Specialty Grain Conference and Trade Show is a joint USSEC and Midwest Shippers Association event held in Kansas City, Missouri, USA August 28-30. This event brings together more than 700 soy and grain industry leaders, buyers and suppliers and includes local U.S. Soybean farm tours along with industry sessions and networking.

Step 2: Contracts

When purchasing U.S. Soy, a buyer must have a good understanding of the contract specifications needed to meet their requirements.

To get the most value out of a U.S. Soy purchase, foreign buyers need to understand the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grading standards, the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) vessel and container loading plans and the nutritional aspects of U.S. Soy in order to draft a proper contract that will ensure they receive exactly what they desire.

Step 3: Locate a supplier

Once a buyer has a contract in place for their needs, next they need to locate a reliable supplier in the United States.

Buyers can find suppliers by reviewing the list of members of NAEGA (The North American Export Association)or GAFTA (The Grain and Feed Trade Association of London, UK) or via referrals from USSEC and its members. Buyers must also determine if they should buy on a Free on Board (FOB) vessel basis at a U.S. port or Cost of Insurance or Freight (CIF) to a port in their own country. Under a FOB contract ,the seller pays the cost of transporting the goods to the port of shipment and loading charges, plus all insurance cover up to this point. CIF means the seller pays costs, freight, and insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage in transit to the destination.

USSEC offers many resources that can help buyers with these decisions. NAEGA and GAFTA also offer workshops to assist buyers and sellers. USSEC and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group conducts training sessions to educate buyers on the use of futures and options markets to manage price risk. Buyers should engage in all these excellent resources and tools.

For more information on purchasing U.S. Soy and the events listed above, click here to contact a USSEC director in your region or click here for a purchase inquiry form.