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World Soybean Trade: Growth and Sustainability

DOI: 10.4236/me.2014.55054, PP. 580-588

Keywords: Soybeans, Feedstock, Land Use, Agricultural Economics, Commodity Trading, Sustainability

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Abstract:

Soybeans can be consumed directly as food, and in China they are the major ingredient in food products such as tofu and soy milk, but direct consumption is small relative to their wider use in animal feed, and it is the requirement for livestock feed that drives international trade. Rapid growth of economies and population, especially in Asia, has led to increased demand for animal protein and cooking oil. This paper analyses the recent growth in supply of soybeans from North and South America to China, and considers the factors that may affect this trade in future; a contrast is made with supply from North and South America to Europe, which has not been increasing. The constraints preventing an increase in supply of soybeans to Europe are reviewed. The paper concludes with brief discussion of the factors which will affect world markets for soybeans and soybean products in future.

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