Soy meal produced from U.S. soybeans has been a favorite of Japanese poultry for fifty years. Now, demand is shifting and soy meal imports there are expected to grow, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
That may be good news for U.S. soybean farmers, since U.S. Census figures show Japan is the second largest buyer of U.S. soy meal, in Asia.
Quality is the key.
“United Soybean Board (USB) research is creating a body of information showing soy meal produced from U.S. soybeans has consistently higher quantities of the five essential amino acids,” says Scott Singlestad, a USB farmer-leader who raises soybeans and corn in Waseca, Minn. “That’s given U.S. soy meal a higher feeding value over its competitors.”
Singlestad discussed the value of U.S. soy meal compared with soy meal from other parts of the world with poultry farmers, feed manufacturers and soy processors recently at meetings in Japan.
According to the USDA, Japanese soy meal imports are expected to increase to 2.370 million metric tons (MMT) in the 2012/13 marketing year. That’s the meal from more than 110 million bushels of soybeans and an increase from 2.282 MMT in the 2011/12 marketing year.
Gonzalo Mateos, Ph.D., from the University of Madrid in Spain, also told Japanese buyers about the advantages of U.S. soy meal over soy meals the European Union imports from other countries. This research reinforced the value message of U.S. soy meal.