What is in this article?:
• Nearly half of the U.S. soybean crop stays in the U.S., but the remainder heads beyond the borders to customers as varied as the nations that cover the globe: pork producers in China, families in India and Japan, school children in Mexico, goat and sheep farmers in Morocco and poultry farmers in Turkey, not to mention fish farmers in Egypt and shrimpers in Ecuador.
Has become big soybean market
Through checkoff efforts, more and more U.S. soybean meal has been included in animal feed in Morocco, and in the most recent marketing year, the African country imported 490,000 bushels of whole U.S. soybeans, a nearly 400 percent increase in four years.
Tilapia has leapt from the hieroglyphics on pyramid walls into 21st-century aquaculture facilities in Egypt. The country is now the world’s second-largest producer of tilapia and the leading aquaculture-producing nation in the Middle East.
Feeding demonstrations have shown tilapia respond well when fish meal is replaced with soybean meal as a protein source, and the use of U.S. soybean meal as an ingredient in fish feed has helped make Egypt the fifth-largest importer of whole U.S. soybeans.
The country imported 43 million bushels in the 2011-2012 marketing year. Global demand for aquafeeds is projected to grow, but unrest in Egypt could hinder the aquaculture industry.
Soy for breakfast? In Japan, natto, a dish made from fermented soybeans, can be found on tables in the early morning hours as people prepare for work and school. Natto is a traditional Japanese food that has a pungent taste, distinctive odor and interesting texture that make it both loved and feared across the country.
To help promote U.S. soy in the natto industry, the soy family established an award that’s handed out at Japan’s annual National Natto Competition, which aims to find the best natto from across the country. This effort has helped U.S. soybeans become the ingredient of choice in the traditional dish.
Last year, U.S. soy accounted for 80 percent of Japanese natto consumption, which reached 125,000 metric tons.
Fish aren’t the only aquatic life developing a taste for U.S. soy — shrimp devour it as well. And the shrimp cocktail you enjoyed at your summer pool parties might just have come from the largest shrimp producer in the Western Hemisphere, Ecuador.
The Latin American country harvests more than 240,000 metric tons of shrimp annually and utilizes about 400,000 metric tons of feed.