The Greater Europe region is a key market for the U.S. Soy industry in both whole soybeans and soymeal exports.
With a population of 850 million people, the region represents 27 percent of the world’s GDP (for comparison purposes, the GDP of the U.S. is 23 percent of the global GDP), although its GDP growth is essentially flat.
Europe represents 11 percent of U.S. soybean and soymeal exports at 6,500,00 MT (238 million bushels). The 10 countries of Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Denmark, Portugal, Turkey and Russia import over 150,000 MT of U.S. Soy. U.S. East Coast exports to Europe are strong.
This growing market share for U.S. soybean meal demonstrates an increasing preference for U.S. meal, and the reliability of U.S. Soy export shipments has helped increase U.S. soybean exports to European markets. An increasing awareness of quality differences by soy production origin is occurring in Europe and is supportive of U.S. Soy’s advantages.
The U.S. Soy industry holds a competitive advantage in the Greater Europe region because of its work in the area of sustainability, which is of increasing importance to the European food and feed industry. As mentioned previously, NEVEDI approved the SSAP as a sustainable program in early 2015, and USSEC has worked closely with the European feed association, FEFAC, as it develops its sustainable scheme for the feed industry throughout Europe. USSEC also submitted the SSAP to the European Commission for use under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) in April 2015 and continues discussion and review for its approval.
Europe is the world’s second largest GMO soy importer behind China. Approximately 90 percent of commercial feed produced in Europe is GMO. The European food industry, however, continues to greatly limit the use of GMO products due to labelling restrictions and a strong NGO presence. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the EU is being negotiated and could potentially create a quicker import approval process for Ag biotech events.