Global Market Overview of Soybeans

June 2022

The report provides a global overview of production, consumption and prices of soybeans. Soaring input costs and supply disruptions put pressure on soybean producers and add more volatility to the market. Meanwhile, dry weather in South America has resulted in tightened global supply in 2021/2022, adding to upward pressure on soybean prices. Over the long term, rising demand for animal protein from the world’s growing population is set to support consumption of soybeans, an important feed input.

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Key Findings

Rising consumption of animal proteins to stimulate strong demand for soybeans

While China is projected to remain the biggest importer of soybeans for its large livestock and poultry sectors, strong population growth, rapid urbanisation and increasing middle-income class in other developing countries in Asia are expected to provide a substantial boost to animal product consumption. In response to higher demand for animal proteins, Asia Pacific is expected to witness intensification in livestock production with growing use of soy-based compound feed.

Soybean prices are forecast to peak in 2022, yet will remain elevated and volatile

Weaker soybean supply due to unfavourable weather conditions, surging input costs, supply disruptions of fertilisers and alternative crops caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and lingering COVID-19 effects have added more uncertainty and volatility to the soybeans market, driving up the prices. Although the prices of soybeans are forecast to peak mid-2022, inflationary pressures are likely to remain high over 2022 and beyond.

Climate change and weather issues remain long-term threat to global soybean supply

Soybean production remains highly susceptible to the warming climate and adverse weather events, such as heatwaves and droughts, along with rising global water scarcity. Adapting crop management, conserving and improving soil conditions by minimising tilling, increasing crop diversification, protecting soil from erosion, as well as the development of drought-tolerant varieties, will be key to withstand the emerging climate challenges.

Shift towards plant-based products to boost demand for high-quality soybeans

Demand for plant proteins has seen strong growth, with consumers shifting towards flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets. The rising consumption of meat and dairy substitutes and the growing number of new plant-based product launches are expected to support soybean production. Moreover, growing consumer concerns over the food quality and environmental impact (such as climate change and deforestation) is set to support demand for non-GMO, organic and sustainably-grown soybeans.

Scope
Key findings
Key trends impacting commodities market in 2022
Global soybean output to be negatively affected by drought in South America
Soybean prices on the rise fuelled by soaring input costs and production shortfalls
Quarterly price analysis table
Brazil and the US continue to dominate global production of soybeans
Brazil witnessed the strongest growth in soybean output over the past five years
Brazil: Unfavourable weather conditions negatively affect soybean output growth
USA: High plantings to support higher production output, yet risks persist
Argentina: Soybean harvest slashed by negative effects of the La Niña weather pattern
China remains the largest consumer market for agricultural products, including soybeans
China: High prices and weaker demand from swine producers curtail soybean imports
India: Robust cattle and poultry expansion to support demand for soy-based feed
USA: Declines in cattle and poultry inventories to result in weaker demand for feed
Growing poultry and livestock herds to support strong demand for feed-grade soybeans
Pet food and animal feeds: Industry growth to slow down amid weaker demand in China
Meat and meat products: Rising meat consumption to support demand for soybean proteins
Dairy products: Dairy to remain an important source of animal protein
Vegetable and animal oils and fats: Biofuel demand to support use of soybean oil
Top 10 country profile: Brazil
Top 10 country profile: USA
Top 10 country profile: Argentina
Top 10 country profile: China
Top 10 country profile: India
Top 10 country profile: Paraguay
Top 10 country profile: Canada
Top 10 country profile: Russia
Top 10 country profile: Bolivia
Top 10 country profile: Ukraine
Key challenges and opportunities
Economic forecasts
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