Three things you need to know
Exports of western Canadian soybeans have exploded in recent years, growing from 700,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 1.3 million MT last year. This can translate into increased opportunity for farmers, but to really take advantage, it helps to have a little deeper insight into how western beans fit into the export demand picture.
Here are three things every soybean grower should know:
- North American beans tend to move October through January.
Cargill accepts soybeans at all Manitoba and Saskatchewan grain locations and a few in Alberta as acreage there expands, but there is a definite window when most beans move from western Canada to export. This is because South American harvest begins in February, making it more difficult for North American soybeans to compete until the next fall.
- Most soybeans exported from Canada’s west coast are destined for China.
About 90% of western Canadian beans are exported to Asia, but China represents 80% of that demand. More often than not, Canadian beans are headed to a crush plant in China, where the soymeal can be fed to animals, which in turn helps meet the growing demand for meat consumption in that country.
- Western Canadian beans tend to be low in protein.
While it doesn’t sound like a selling point, lower protein beans have a place in the market. Western Canadian beans are sold as protein blenders. Brazil produces the highest protein beans in the world, and crushers often need to bring down the protein content in their soymeal by blending high protein with low.
If you have questions about soybean marketing opportunities, call your Cargill rep for more information.