U.S. Soy Exports Record Another Billion Bushel Year

Iowa depends on overseas markets to use the 525 million bushels of soybeans the state harvests.

The United States recorded another billion bushels of soy exports during the 2006 marketing year completed Oct. 17. USDA reports soybean exports reached more than 937 million bushels and soybean meal exports totaled more than 295 million bushels. In total, more than 1.2 billion bushels of soy were exported during the 2006 marketing year with an approximate value of more than $8 billion.

"Soybeans are the highest-valued U.S. agricultural commodity export and contribute a great deal to the balance of trade," says Neal Bredehoeft, chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council and a soybean farmer from Alma, Mo. "On average, 43% of U.S. soybean production is exported each year."

Top five foreign buyers of beans

The top five export destinations for U.S. soybeans in 2006 were 1) China; 2) Mexico; 3) Japan; 4) Taiwan; and 5) Indonesia. China alone accounted for more than 38% of total U.S. soybean exports.

Soybean meal export numbers recorded a 5% increase over last year with Mexico maintaining its #1 position as the largest importer of U.S. soybean meal. Rounding out the top five export markets for U.S. soybean meal are Canada, the Philippines, Japan and the Dominican Republic.

"Soy exports are expected to be even higher in this new marketing year as the soybean export year is off to its fastest start in history," says Bredehoeft, "and meal exports should continue to grow as biodiesel drives more soybean crush."

The U.S. soybean industry celebrated 50 years of market development overseas in 2006. Through the U.S. Soybean Export Council's network of eight overseas offices and with support from the soybean checkoff, several state soybean organizations and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, it promotes soy- product use in animal feed, soyfood and industrial uses in over 80 countries.

Biodiesel expansion means more meal

"Promotion and market development efforts in overseas markets are vital for the competitiveness of soybean farmers in Iowa," says John Heisdorffer, a Keota, Iowa, farmer who is an Iowa Soybean Association board member. "With every other row of soybeans exported, Iowa depends on overseas markets to use the 525 million bushels of soybeans we harvest. And with a rapidly expanding biodiesel industry and increasing use of soybean oil, lower soybean meal prices will put Iowa farmers in a more competitive position in the world export market."

For more information contact the Iowa Soybean Association at (800) 383-1423 or log on to the ISA Web site at www.iasoybeans.com. Or contact Marie Korte, USSEC communications manager (314) 754-1327 or [email protected]

Funded by soybean checkoff dollars

The Iowa Soybean Association develops policies and programs that help farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally-sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association is governed by an elected board of 21 farmers.

Activities of the U.S. Soybean Export Council to expand international markets for U.S. soybeans and soy products are made possible by producer checkoff dollars invested by the United Soybean Board and various state soybean councils. Financial support to expand overseas markets also comes from cooperating companies in the industry, and through the American Soybean Association's investment of cost-share funding provided by USDA's Foreign Ag Service.

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