Checkoff chatter: Feeding demand

Each year, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) directs checkoff dollars in the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF). For the state’s farmers – each of whom pay into the checkoff – the investment into USMEF helps improve their bottom lines.

Meat exports add value not only by increasing the quantity demanded of pork – and the soybean meal used to feed those hogs – but also by increasing the market value of hogs. Pork exports have been the fastest growing category of soybean meal use since 2015. In fact, 26.9% of US pork is exported and that percentage is continually increasing.

Livestock is the number one customer of soybeans, with 98 percent of soybean meal used for feed. As pork exports continue to grow, the need for soybean meal grows simultaneously.

“Minnesota soybeans play a huge part domestically and internationally,” said Kim Nill, MSR&PC’s director of market development. “The investment to USMEF is vital to ensure the continues strong sales of US meat to foreign buyers.”

The top pork value export markets include Japan, China/Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada and Korea.

In 2019, pork exports contributed 9% of the per bushel price of soybeans ($0.76/bushel) of an annual average price of $8.43. With total production of 3.55 billion bushels, the value of pork exports was $2.7 billion to the US soybean crop.

In 2019, US pork exports used 2.12 million tons of soybean meal, which is the equivalent of 89.2 million bushels of soybeans. Soybean revenue generated by pork exports totaled $751.7 million (89.2 million bushels x a then average price of $8.43/bushel).

Of this total, the market value of pork exports specifically to Minnesota soybeans was $63 million.

To put this into perspective, without these pork exports Minnesota soybean farmers would have lost $226 million in soybean revenue in 2019.

Looking ahead per USDA’s 2020-2029 Baseline projections, pork exports are projected to use 1.3 billion bushels of soybeans which will generate around $11.3 billion in soybean revenue.

“With higher demand for pork, we can see our soybean meal being exported indirectly through pork exports. In fact, the forecasted growth in exports of soybean meal through pork exports is looking to be around 45%,” Nill says.

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