Soybean is the top ranking oilseed produced globally, with total production reaching over 385 million MT during the current year 2021-22. Production of soybean oil ranks second to palm oil, reaching over 60 million MT in the current year. Soybeans, soybean oil as well as the meal are globally traded commodities and their production, international trade and consumption are tracked by various industry players and financial institutions. This blog discusses the commercial aspects of these soybean products over the past few years.

The following Table 1 presents global production, imports, exports, crush and ending stocks of soybean, for the last five years – from 2017-18 to 2021-22.

As can be seen from the above table, the global production of soybean oilseeds has been above 340 million MT per year during the past four years. The estimated soybean production during the current year 2021-22 is significantly higher at more than 385 million MT, which is higher by more than 13% above 340 million MT. Soybean production has steadily increased from 2019-20 to 2021-22, despite the covid-19 pandemic.

Imports and exports of soybean oilseeds have maintained the level of about 165 million MT in the past three years. However, as the production is expected to be significantly higher in the current year, the imports and exports are also expected to be higher, at over 170 million MT.

Interestingly, the crush or extraction of soybean oilseeds to produce soybean oil and meal has increased steadily in the past four years; from 295 million MT in 2017-18 to more than 315 million MT in 2020-21. This amounts to almost 7% growth in this period. Soybean crush is expected to increase further during the current year, 2021-22, due to higher production. It is estimated that over 328 million MT of soybean will be crushed during the current year, an increase of about 4% over the last year.

The increased production as well as crush volumes of soybean are also boosting the solvent extraction industry, as evidenced by the suppliers of solvent extraction plants, of which Kumar Metal Industries is the leading global supplier, along with the related technologies. Kumar Metal Industries offers state-of-the-art technologies and equipment for soybean extraction and downstream processing of soybean oil and meal.

The following table lists country-wise production of soybean oilseed for the past several years.

Brazil and USA are the top two producers of soybean oilseeds, followed by Argentina, China and India, mainly.

The following table presents the global production, imports, exports, domestic consumption and ending stocks of soybean oil for the past five years.

As expected, the global production of soybean oil has increased steadily in the past four years, from over 55 million MT in 2017-18 to more than 59 million MT in 2020-21; rise of almost 8% in the period. It is estimated to increase further to 61.69 million MT during the current year, 2021-22, an increase of about 4%. Thus, the earlier inference of positive impact on the solvent extraction industry is corroborated by these soybean oil production volumes. Sustained increase in the production of soybean oilseeds and oil (as well as meal) will result in consistent growth of the solvent extraction plants globally, in the near future.

The imports and exports of soybean oil have remained steady within 10 to 12 million MT during the past five years.

The domestic consumption of soybean oil within the producing countries has increased steadily from over 54 million MT in 2017-18 to more than 59 million MT in 2020-21. It is expected to increase further to more than 61 million MT during the current year 2021-22. This steady increase in domestic consumption points to the increasing production capacity or solvent extraction capacity requirements in those countries.

The global soybean oil ending stocks have remained almost static at about four million MT during the past five years, again indicating the trend of rising consumption in line with the increasing production of soybean oilseed and soybean oil.

The following table lists major country-wise soybean oil production in the world for the past five years.

Although, Brazil is the topmost producer of soybean, it ranks third in the production of soybean oil, indicating lower extraction. China and USA are the top producers of soybean oil, followed by Brazil, Argentina, EU, India and Mexico.

The following table presents the global production, imports, exports, domestic consumption and ending stocks of soybean meal (or soy protein meal) during the past five years.

Global production of soybean meal has increased steadily from over 232 million MT in 2017-18 to above 249 million MT in 2020-21. It is expected to rise significantly during the current year 2021-22, to more than 258 million MT.

Imports and exports of soybean meal in the world has remained steady at about 63 to 69 million MT in the past four years. They are expected to increase marginally in the current year, 2021-22.

Domestic consumption of soybean meal (in the producing countries) has also increased steadily in the past four years, as expected. It rose from over 228 million MT in 2017-18 to more than 245 million MT in the year 2020-21. It is estimated to record a significant increase during the current year, 2021-22, to more than 253 million MT. This rise reflects the increased production and processing of soybean oilseed.

It is interesting to note the decreasing ending stocks of soybean meal in the world, during the past four years. They have decreased from over 15 million MT in 2017-18 to over 12 million MT in the year 2020-21. They are projected to remain unchanged during the current year, 2021-22. This again reflects the increasing consumption of soybean meal globally.

The following table lists major country-wise soybean meal production for the past five years.

As for soybean oil, China and USA are the topmost producers of soybean meal as well. They are followed by Brazil, Argentina, EU, India and Mexico.

The following table summarizes the global production of soybean oilseeds, soybean oil and meal for the past five years, to present a perspective on the soybean value chain.

 


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