The soybean market has had a roller coaster ride of a year. July 5th marked the 1 year anniversary, tariffs were enacted on between two of the largest economies in the world. The U.S. and China have had a year of tit-for-tat retaliatory tariffs, depressing commodity prices and interest. The riffle started as a dispute of intellectual property rights and quickly moved in to the agricultural sector. Soybean farmers were some of the first casualties of depressed markets and lack of national commodity interest.
The lack of soybean movement to China has caused a stockpile of U.S. soybeans. The stockpile exceeds far beyond last year’s stockpile number, according to the USDA reports. Monte Peterson, member of the Board of Directors for North Dakota Soybean has experienced the importance of U.S. soy in developing counties.
Over the years, Peterson says there have been efforts in the works to introduce soy into 3 world countries by the entire U.S. soy family. That group includes The American Soybean Association, the United Soybean Board, US Soybean Export Council, and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH).
Those efforts include fulfilling the protein need in countries who need it. Not only is the mission of U.S. soy to enter other countries but develop a market and system necessary to provide soy. The U.S. has been active in conversations with foreign leadership and human health departments.
Peterson says the challenge when it comes to introducing U.S. soy, is determining the different needs each country has and providing the necessary services to provide U.S. soy.
Indonesia has had soy in their market for a number of years. A popular soy food in Indonesia is Tempe, a soybean fermented product. It’s used heavily in their diet as a protein source and puts them as one of the top consumers of soybean. The importance of soybean in Indonesia is high although the logistics of a stable, domestic market lacks. There are plenty of reasons for a lacking domestic market such as infrastructure, port facilities, and monitoring issues. In Indonesia, the U.S. continues to help with the commercialization and transportation of soy into the country. This is one example of the U.S’s efforts to develop the market in countries of need.
Peterson explained the U.S. has been struggling for quite some time with the Chinese retaliatory tariffs causing depressed commodity prices. Although, Peterson stays hopeful. While his time overseas this past month, it was clear he expects the oil seed sector to have a change in direction over the next couple of years.