soybean field

Over $2.3 Billion in Purchasing Commitments Signed at U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Milwaukee


Chinese agricultural leaders signed 21 purchasing contracts totaling $2.3 billion at last week’s U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Taiwanese trade teams added another $28 million to that tally.
10 Chinese crushing companies and 8 U.S. exporters inked 21 purchasing contracts representing 176 million bushels or 4.8 million metric tons (MMT) of soy.  Crushers such as China Oilseed & Feed Corporation (COFCO), Sinograin and Dongling Grain & Oil Co. Ltd., committed to buy U.S. soybeans valued at $2.3 billion on September 15, following the crushers’ weeklong U.S. industry tour.
In addition to the Chinese signing, the Taiwanese buyers team also purchased $28 million of U.S. soy last week, according to USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke.
The signing at U.S. soy’s biggest networking event marks the second consecutive year that the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange has generated big sales for U.S. growers in their own agricultural heartland.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, together with Wisconsin agriculture secretary Ben Brancel and Phil Karsting, Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) welcomed the Chinese delegation.  Mr. Karsting offered thanks to buyers and customers and congratulated U.S. producers, saying that FAS is “grateful to work with them.”
United Soybean Board (USB) chair Jim Call talked about the differences in the importance of international relationships that U.S. farmers have seen through the years, pointing out that when his grandfather began farming in 1947, “what happened in China did not affect us.  Now it does.”  Mr. Call said that USSEC has had a presence in China for 33 years.  Mr. Call and other growers welcome international buyers to their farms and to the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange:  “This event offers a taste of American ag that they don’t get every day,” he said.  “This experience should give them a better understanding of the pride we take in our farms and product and how U.S. soybeans will benefit them for the long haul.  Choosing U.S. soy is a win-win situation for all of us.”
Ray Gaesser, American Soybean Association (ASA) president, stated, “It’s great to be here with our friends and our partners,” and said that U.S. growers are proud to provide a “sustainable, healthy product” to their customers.  He thanked the Chinese companies for their business and their friendship.
Mr. Sutter said, “This signing ceremony is a small step in our long-term partnership with China.”
China has continued to keep pace as U.S. soy’s biggest customer, purchasing approximately one in four rows of U.S. soybeans.  The country is the largest international market for U.S. food and agricultural products, with exports of $23.5 billion last fiscal year.
According to the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), Chinese soybean imports for the 2013/14 marketing year, which ended Aug. 31, are estimated at a record 68 MMT with about half of those coming from the United States.  China is by far the largest buyer of soybeans worldwide.
During an ISA trade mission to the country in July, prominent Chinese government and agribusiness officials predicted imports could reach 75 MMT this year, which is 1 million more than USDA projections.  In five years, officials say imports could reach 80 to 85 MMT.
Representatives from China committed to buy $2.8 billion worth of U.S. soy during last year’s U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Davenport, Iowa.
In the most recent marketing year, U.S. soybean farmers exported more than 1.7 billion bushels of U.S. soy to international customers.  The value of these exports set a record of more than $28 billion.