With a population of 1.65 billion, the ASC region is home to 23 percent of the world’s population. With the regional GDP average growth at greater than 5 percent and increasing, this region is growing rapidly. A new pro-business and growth-oriented government won a landslide election in India in May of 2014, and commercial interests in India are optimistic about positive changes in commercial and trade policies. The region faces infrastructure issues and infrastructure rebuilding. Political instability remains a continuing problem in Pakistan.
U.S. soy imports to Bangladesh exceeded 100,000 metric tons in the past 12 months. India remains a large export market for soy protein isolates and concentrates and occasionally imports U.S. soy oil. Commodity soybean imports to India are uncertain due to the lack of GMO approvals. Processors and traders are increasingly looking to the domestic market and in 2014 use of domestically produced soy meal exceeded exports for the first time. Domestic production of soy in India continues to decline. Promotional efforts can increase direct demand for U.S. soybeans and Hi-Pro soybean meal in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
In 2013, domestic soymeal consumption was 4.3 MMT, while domestic soy usage in human food was 1 MMT. Bangladesh is increasing its crushing capacity and Pakistan still has unused crushing capacity. The region’s industry is becoming increasingly consolidated. The compound annual growth rate of poultry broilers is 12 percent and 7 percent for layers. For farmed freshwater fish, compound annual growth rate is 8 percent and farmed shrimp is 8 percent. The compound annual growth rate of the human consumption of soy is 10 percent.
Market access issues that will need to be addressed in the ASC region are the alleviation of GMO concerns in India and Bangladesh, the establishment of zero or low duty for defatted soy flour, soybean meal and other soyfoods, and the encouragement of soy utilization in government feeding and social welfare programs.