Expanding Horizons: U.S. Soybean Meal's Role in Global Growth

May 29, 2024

U.S. soybean crushing capacity is growing. In 2023, three crush plants expanded operations and a new plant opened in North Dakota, and plans are underway for 12 new soybean crushing plants and five expansions to be operating by 2026.1

The soybean crush capacity expansion not only meets the rising U.S. demand for biofuels, but it also supports global food security by providing sustainable soybean meal for animal and aquaculture feed.

“U.S. soybean meal offers significant nutritional benefits, with its high digestibility and essential amino acids supporting the health and growth of livestock and aquaculture worldwide — from Asia to South America,” says Tom D’Alfonso, Ph.D., director of animal and aquaculture for USSEC. “We are showing feed formulators around the world that the value of U.S. soybean meal goes beyond crude protein. Plus, U.S. Soy products have a lower carbon footprint than soy of other origins.”

USSEC is sharing the advantages of U.S. soybean meal and addressing logistics to help customers around the world capitalize on its increasing availability.

Growing Shipments from the Pacific Northwest

To demonstrate the sustainable production and efficient supply systems for U.S. soybean meal from the Pacific Northwest to Asia, USSEC has hosted multiple trade teams and events.

For example, in June 2023, leadership of the Korean Feed Association and member feed mills visited the U.S. In January 2024, USSEC hosted the Korea Soybean Meal Buyers Team, including purchasing managers from 14 feed mills.

Both groups visited the Port of Grays Harbor in Washington state, where an expansion is equipping the facility to export more soybean meal from the U.S. Northern Plains and Midwest. The groups also met with export partners and others to better understand the U.S. soybean meal supply chain.

“USSEC has also conducted the U.S. Soybean Meal Conference in Seoul,” D’Alfonso says. “Our team shared comparative feeding value, the soybean meal market outlook, U.S. soybean meal export portfolio and U.S. Soy sustainability with the Korean feed industry.”

Taking advantage of the increased export availability of U.S. soybean meal, USSEC plans to promote U.S. soybean meal more effectively in Asia. Programs scheduled in the coming year include the U.S. Soybean Meal Master Program, conference and trade missions. These efforts have potential to increase the market for U.S. soybean meal in this region.

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