The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) attaché office in Islamabad recently issued its latest update on oilseed and products outlook. In the report, the office noted growing demand for soybeans as the country faces lower rapeseed supplies to run its crush facilities. A look at the latest Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) export data shows that outstanding sales of U.S. soybeans are up 4 percent from last year and up 222 percent from the same week in 2016. Accumulated shipments over the same period are up 18 percent and up 262 percent, respectively.
Recent growth in oilseed demand is expected to continue as the nation’s poultry and dairy industries grow and modernize. This development is anticipated to spur additional demand for high-protein feed ingredients such as soybean meal. Studies show that soybeans yield a higher-protein meal than rapeseed, which means higher feed efficiency for livestock. This feature should support demand for soybean meal even if global rapeseed supplies rebound following recent crop shortfalls in the European Union and Australia.
In addition to growing demand for soybean meal, the post also notes that consumers have shown a greater preference for soft oils such as soybean oil. Pakistan had previously relied heavily on imports of palm oil but changing consumer tastes, particularly in higher-income individuals, have favored increased consumption of oilseed-based soft oils such as soybean oil. Growing imports of U.S. soybeans will help to supply packers and manufacturers with greater availability of soybean oil to capture this change in consumer preferences.