EU imports of US soybeans up by 112 percent


Food Ingredients First 

08 Jan 2019


Imports of US soybeans by the European Union (EU) have increased by 112 percent in the second half of 2018 (July-December 2018), compared to the same period in the previous year. With a share of 75 percent of EU soybeans imports, the US is Europe's number one supplier, according to new statistics released by the European Commission yesterday (January 7).


Conversely, Europe remains by far the top destination of US soybeans exports (28 percent), followed by Argentina (10 percent) and Mexico (9 percent), as the impact of a trade dispute between the US and China heats up.


The EU imports about 14 million tons of soybeans per year as a source of protein to feed animals, including chicken, pigs and cattle, as well as for milk production. Soybeans from the US are a desirable feed option for European importers and users, thanks to their competitive prices.


The data included in the report published yesterday on soybeans comes from the Crops Market Observatory which the European Commission launched in July 2017 to share market data and short-term analysis to ensure more transparency.


Last year FoodIngredientsFirst reported that when the trade conflict between the US and China first began to bite, the US soybean industry was bracing itself for severe losses as China slapped tariffs on the legumes as part of a retaliation package. While the industry continues to advocate for an end to the tariff war and long-term solutions to the loss of export markets, figures revealed that the US had overtaken Brazil as the leading soybean supplier to the European Union with a 52 percent market share.


Chinese importers made their third largest soybean purchase from the US in the last month on Monday, January 7, as officials from both countries met this week for the first face-to-face talks since agreeing to a 90-day trade war truce on December 1, according to reports.


The current trade war truce agreed between China’s Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump expires on March 1.


Part of the implementation of the Joint Statement agreed between EU President Juncker and US President Trump in July 2018 notes that the two sides agreed to increase trade in several areas and products, notably soybeans. As a result, the European Commission now regularly publishes figures on EU imports...


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