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Thailand’s Growing Soybean Meal Consumption Could Open Doors for U.S. Soy

10 Sep 2023

Improvements in Thailand’s poultry and aquaculture sectors could bring about significant increases in the country’s soybean-meal consumption this year, according to some news reports.

Its poultry sector is expected to expand after Japan lifted its ban on Thai raw chicken. Additionally, the Early Mortality Syndrome that has hurt Thai shrimp production is beginning to decline. Due to these factors, the soy-checkoff-funded U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) views Thailand as a potentially hot market for U.S. soy demand.

“In meeting with buyers from Thailand, we got indications that they are not happy with our competition,” says Bob Metz, soy checkoff farmer-leader from West Brown Valley, S.D. “If we want to be one of their major suppliers of soybeans, we need to make sure we do everything possible to cultivate those relationships.”

USSEC is involved in several activities in Thailand on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers. For example, in 2013, USSEC, which serves as the soy checkoff’s international marketing arm, provided technical assistance to multiple fish farms in Thailand, showing them how U.S. soybean meal is a beneficial protein source for aquaculture. USSEC also hosts demonstrations to show the value of using soybean meal in swine and broiler production in tropical climates. Soybean buyers from Thailand also attended USSEC’s U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange last September in Davenport, Iowa.

U.S. soybean farmers exported 20.8 million bushels of soybeans to Thailand in the 2012-13 marketing year, which ranks tenth among all export destinations for U.S. soy. However, they exported only the meal from 1.3 million bushels of soybeans, which ranks 39th, suggesting there is potential for improvement for that particular product.

“China continues to be our biggest importer, but you never want to look past Southeast Asia,” Metz said. “Doing more business with a country like Thailand is a great long-term investment for U.S. soybean farmers.”

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Article written by United Soybean Board


Farmers Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.