Brent Babb, USSEC regional director, says sustainability, along with quality and availability, are reasons the European market continues to buy more U.S. Soy.

China obviously played a key role in the growth of U.S. soybean exports in recent years as it accounts for nearly a third of U.S. sales.

But other markets quietly continue to grow for U.S. soybeans and other ag products around the world, according to industry leaders at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio.

“We saw good growth in (soybean) exports to Europe and in North America last year,” said Brent Babb, regional director for the U.S. Soybean Export Council. “We love the growth in Asia, but it’s amazing we think of some of these places (such as Europe) as mature, nongrowth markets.”

Saudi Arabia continues to import U.S. beans and remains the largest importer in the Middle East. Tunisia recently imported 350,000 tons and Iran purchased 80,000 tons.

Meanwhile, the European market continues to buy more U.S. beans due in part to the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol, which demonstrates and documents sustainable soybean production at a national level.