November 14, 2008


US soy farmers set record exports of 1.5 billion bushels


US soy farmers already have one reason to give thanks this fall - 2008 exports of US soy have set another all-time record.


This year, over 1.5 billion bushels of soy were exported from the US, valued at more than $12 billion.


Meanwhile, soymeal exports totalled 346 million bushels, increasing by 11 percent. Soy oil weighed in at nearly 1.1 million tonnes with an increase of 68 percent from last year's numbers.


"Checkoff-funded global demand-building programmes have demonstrated their success with another record-setting year," says Terry Ecker, from United Soybean Board (USB). "The programmes work diligently to make sure that overseas customers prefer US soy. The numbers prove our checkoff farmer leaders understand the importance of marketing US soy."


China is again the top importer of US soy with 490 million bushels. The country also imported 171,000 tonnes of soy oil. With 131 million bushels of US soy, Mexico comes in as the second-largest importer, followed closely by Japan with nearly 100 million bushels. US soy also maintained a strong foothold in the EU with Germany importing 45 million bushels, the Netherlands shipping in 43 million bushels and Spain accepting 19 million bushels.


To maintain and increase international demand for US soy, the checkoff is highly involved in informing overseas markets about US soy production.


"These numbers show the success of the checkoff and farmers working together," says Vicki Coughlin, a USB director.


USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soy checkoff on behalf of all US soy 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 Soy Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

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