EU soybean meal imports slump on tight S American supplies: sources


         Raw soybean purchases up 4.5% on year at 7.78 mil mt

         Netherlands, Spain, Denmark top soybean importers


Asim Anand, S&P Global Platts

Jan 12, 2021


New Delhi EU soybean meal imports have continued their downward spiral since the start of the 2020-21 marketing year (July-June) amid limited supply from its top two suppliers, Argentina and Brazil, market sources said Jan. 12.


The EU's soybean meal imports fell 8.5% year on year to 9.45 million mt between the start of the 2020-21 marketing year on July 1 and Dec. 31, while raw soybean purchases were 4.5% higher year on year at 7.78 million mt, according to the European Commission report released Jan. 12.


Soybean meal crushers and traders in Brazil and Argentina are facing raw bean supply bottlenecks. While Brazilian soybean farmers have very limited stocks left to sell, Argentinian farmers are reluctant to trade their oilseed inventories due to the government's tough tax and revenue policies, market sources say. Frequent strikes by port workers are not helping exports of Argentinian soybean products either.


As a result, the South American soy crushing industry is operating below capacity due to the shortage of raw beans.


Additionally, Brazil has experienced high domestic demand for soybean meal-based animal feed because of growing beef, pork and poultry demand from Asia, a Brazilian agriculture analyst said. This means average raw beans prices are 30% higher year on year at $12.50-$13.00/bu currently, he said.


Brazil and Argentina -- the world's top two soymeal suppliers -- account for over 85% of EU soybean meal imports on a quarterly basis.


Since the start of the 2020-21 marketing year, Brazilian soybean meal has accounted for 44% of the EU's imports at 4.17 million mt, while Argentina -- the world's top soybean meal supplier -- had a 41% share at 3.86 million mt, the data showed.


Raw soybean imports ...