Federal government figures show U.S. soy continues to be in strong demand among international customers.

Buyers outside of the United States purchased 1.5 billion bushels of whole U.S. soybeans in the latest marketing year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That makes U.S. soy one of the largest agricultural exports. And U.S. agriculture continues to lead all economic sectors with a positive balance of trade.

“Increasing demand for U.S. soy abroad has been the cornerstone of the soybean-checkoff-funded marketing efforts for the past 20 years,” says Jim Call, a soybean farmer from Madison, Minn. Call also chairs the United Soybean Board (USB) International Marketing program. “We focus not just on China, but on increasing sales in other international markets, as well.”

“The soybean checkoff helps fund market-building activities like hosting international buying teams and conducting poultry and livestock feeding demonstrations abroad that prove the advantages of using U.S. soy,” Call says.

Additional key soybean export figures for the 2010/2011 marketing year:

  • U.S. soybean farmers helped export over 1.5 billion bushels of whole soybeans.
  • Soybean meal from over 332 million bushels of soybeans was exported.
  • Oil from approximately 290 million bushels of soybeans went to foreign customers.

Soy users in China weighed in as the top international customers of whole U.S. soybeans buying 895 million bushels, up from 825 million bushels during the 2010/2011 marketing year. Other top importing markets for whole U.S. soybeans in the last marketing year include the following:

  • Mexico – 124.3 million bushels
  • Japan – 75.2 million bushels
  • Indonesia – 71.03 million bushels
  • Taiwan – 55.9 million bushels
  • Germany – 36.3 million bushels
  • Spain – 28.6 million bushels
  • Egypt – 27.8 million bushels
  • South Korea – 26.3 million bushels
  • Thailand – 18.6 million bushels

The soybean checkoff funds international marketing efforts in more than 80 countries worldwide. These include market development, communications and education.

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

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Source: USB