Twelve South Dakota Soybean farmers are experiencing the importance of international marketing firsthand in China. The group arrived in China earlier this week, and will meet with soybean buyers, soybean processors and livestock producers throughout their 10-day mission.
Participants include: Craig Converse, Brookings; Nathan Davis, Ipswich; Darren Fechner, Delmont; BJ Hansen, Turton; Nick Kniffen, Tyndall; Joe Locken, Bath; Barry Loomis, Bruce; Lannie Mielke, Mellette; Peter Mishek, Mishek Inc. & Associates; Kelly Nelson, South Dakota Soybean staff; Tim Ostrem, Centerville; Norman Peterson, Salem; Dawn Scheier, Salem; James Tsao, Country Guide; Jim Wehde, Sioux Falls.
China: Overview of a Growing Market
During a briefing in Beijing, U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) staff Paul Burke and Hsiao Ping shared how USSEC with support from the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (SDSRPC) and other state organizations are encouraging Chinese soybean buyers to continue purchasing U.S. soy products.
Over 60% of South Dakota’s soybean crop is exported overseas. Nationally, over 70% of all U.S. soybean exports are shipped to Northeast Asia. China alone imports 39% of the U.S. soybean market.
China’s demand for soybeans is expected to increase along with the growing population. Currently, 56% of China’s population lives in cities. Urban growth has steadily increased since the 1980’s and will continue to grow. In the next 20 years, 300 million people will move from rural areas to cities. As the population moves to the city, per-capita income is also expected to increase, which means the ability for Chinese consumers to afford protein sources such as meat, milk and eggs will also increase, along with the demand for soybeans to feed livestock.
China is the world leader in aquaculture production. Sixty percent of the world aquaculture production takes place in China. The second largest aquaculture producer is India with 19% of the world’s aquaculture production. The demand of soybeans from China’s aquaculture industry is expected to grow. Currently, 7.9 million metric tons (nearly 300 million bushels) of soybeans is used in aquaculture production compared to zero just 20 years ago.