The United Soybean Board reports soybean farmers in the United States exported a record quantity of soybeans during the 2020/2021 marketing year. U.S. Soy shipped 74.76 million metric tons of product, valued at more than $34 billion.
Monte Peterson is Chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, a soybean checkoff partner. Also, a North Dakota soybean and corn farmer, Peterson explains what led to the record export year.
“If you think back a few years ago, we were dealing with African swine fever. We’ve certainly all been dealing with a pandemic, but we’ve had some pent-up demand because of those things. And I think probably what’s even more exciting, at least to me, is that our number one customer, the soy that China imports from us, that wasn’t their largest import from the U.S. this last year. The reason for these exports is a host of other countries that have decided to come to the U.S. to buy U.S. soy.”
A large part of this success is due to research and education programs funded by the soy checkoff to help improve nutrition and food security, environmental sustainability and livelihoods around the world.
“We’ve got growing populations, growing economies, an appetite for a better diet, a diet that’s based on protein. And of course, soy is really the driver in increasing protein in human diets, and we’re seeing the fruition of that. While China was down in importing during the trade war, it probably provided some opportunity for other countries to come and explore U.S. Soy for a first time.”
And work to build markets by the U.S. Soybean Export Council, along with the United Soybean Board, U.S. Meat Export Federation, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council and others is all part of that larger success for U.S. agriculture. But Monte reiterates for building U.S. Soy demand, on behalf of the soy checkoff, partners are critical when it comes to expanding exports.
“USSEC works at differentiating and creating a preference for U.S. soy, along with ensuring market access to those markets.”