soybean field

China’s Growing Livestock Sector Means Growing Need for U.S. Soy

China, U.S. soy’s largest international customer, pork and broiler meat production continues to grow.

China, U.S. soy’s largest international customer, continues to grow, and the country’s animal agriculture sector, particularly pork and broiler meat production, is no exception.
The nation imported 849 billion bushels of whole U.S. soybeans in the most recent marketing year. Nearly all of the meal from those soybeans is used for poultry and livestock feed.
From 1990 to 2012, China’s soy meal consumption increased from 1,028 metric tons to nearly 51,000 metric tons, a gain of almost 5,000 percent.
“To grow our foreign market share and protect our basis, U.S. soybean farmers need to choose seed that not only yield well but will also produce at least 35 percent protein and 19 percent oil,” says Sharon Covert, USSEC Vice-chair, USB director and soybean farmer from Tiskilwa, Ill. “This will help us compete better with soybeans raised in South America. Next time you talk to your seed rep, ask about good yield, 35 percent protein and 19 percent oil.”
From 2000 to 2012, Chinese pork production grew by 14.94 million metric tons, an increase equal to 66 percent of the European Union’s total production. This year, China’s pork production could reach an estimated 51.6 million metric tons, which is equal to nearly half of the total global production.
Chinese broiler meat production has increased by 4.46 million metric tons since 2000. Projections for this year put China’s broiler meat output at 13.73 million metric tons, making it the second-largest producer after the United States.