“The prospects for soybean production in South America in 2015 and for the next ten years, are good,” writes Ruben Olveira, Marketing & Sales Director, Inspectorate Agriculture Division.

South America will continue being the main world producing and exporting area for soybeans, as well as for soybean meal and soybean oil.

“We base our assessments on our intimate knowledge of the market having served all parts of the soybean complex in South America over the last two decades. Inspectorate achieves insight into production in addition to official statistics due to our privileged position in assessing quality of crops in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay not only by country but also by region. Our market understanding is built on through helping transactions between producers and traders, supervising receptions and loadings in country and at ports. We also see the whole process through by supervising discharge at ports as the supply chain nears its end.

“Our current assessment is made in mid-February with the soybean harvest in Paraguay coming to an end. Between the end of March and mid April harvesting will finish in Brazil and towards the end of March Argentina will have begun its harvest. A record soybean harvest in the United States has been confirmed, amounting to 108mt [million tonnes], and it is now South America’s turn. In this 2015 season, both Brazil and Argentina are expected to record harvests with projected production volumes of 93mt and 58mt respectively.

“On the basis of current information, the United States is expected to continue to be the lead world exporter of soybeans, with a record volume of 48.7mt, followed by Brazil with a net export volume of 46mt and Argentina maintaining its exports in the 8mt range. The United States will turn out to be the only

country increasing its exports in 2015. China will consolidate its position as the foremost world soybean importer, with a volume of 74mt, as well being the world’s largest soybean processor, with 74.5mt crushed. From this it can be seen that 100% of the crushed soybeans by China for its domestic market is imported. And this trend will remain in the years to 2024/25, a time at which the Chinese will need to increase their soybean imports by 33.7mt, thus reaching a total of 107.7mt. This is equivalent to the entire soybean production of the United States in this 2014/5 season.

“Brazil will see the largest increase in exports, with a projected 22.3mts by 2025.Argentina will be far behind with an increase of just 4.1mt in its exports, and the United States will have a 3.4mt increase. In conclusion, Brazil will be the main country supplying China’s projected demand growth during the coming decade. The rest of the soybean-importing countries are not projected to undergo significant changes in their demand by 2024/25. They will consolidate their positions as soybean meal and soybean oil importers, that is processed by-products, as they do not possess soybean-crushing industries that can compete with the most efficient in the world.

“We expect that Southeast Asia, North Africa and the Middle East are going to be the regions with the largest soybean meal imports increases by 2024/25, with growth of 5.3 and 2.4mt each. Argentina will continue being the world’s main soybean meal exporter, and by 2024/25 is projected to have an increase of 10.3mt, bringing its total for such exports to 38.1mt. Inspectorate believes that Argentina will be able to capture 87% of the growth in soybean meal world trade. Brazil will continue being the second largest, with an increase of 3.8mt, and with total exports of 17.9mt,” concludes Olveira.