Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs) are a critical piece of the U.S. soy industry. In this piece, shared by the Illinois Soybean Association, trade analyst Eric Woodie writes of the importance of reliable delivery and supply to keep the international soy trade moving forward. Despite global uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Soy remains open for business.

As I take my regular walks along the banks of the Mississippi River, I watch the barges as they travel up and down the waterway. Despite everything seemingly changing around us because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the river continues to flow. And in turn, so does trade. Barges continue to transport products around the world and that means Illinois soybeans can continue to reach export markets.

It’s a hopeful reminder that there is still some normalcy out there. That things will get better as we conquer the challenges of COVID-19 together. That said, the Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program has been crunching numbers outside of my walks by the river to understand how the soy market is being affected by the pandemic.

The big takeaway is a positive: soy continues to move. As everyone is figuring out the new normal, the global trade system continues to pack, move and transport soy all over the world to feed people and livestock and deliver biodiesel. Bulk shipping has been very nimble in reacting to the crisis and containers have been reallocated and rescheduled as overall shipping volume has declined.