North Africa Increasing U.S. Soy Imports
By Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA
U.S. soy exports to North Africa continue very strong growth in the current marketing year. To date, Egypt is 50% ahead of last year’s U.S. soybean purchases at over 67 million bushels or nearly 1.81 million metric tons (MMT). Egypt is the third largest global export market for U.S. soybeans and has maintained U.S. market share above 70% for the past several years. USSEC is building on long-term partnerships in the soy industry with the launch of the Egypt Soy Excellence Center (SEC) last September. So far, seven USSEC training seminars for the poultry and aquaculture industries have been completed with twelve more planned before October at the SEC at Cairo University and WorldFish.
While Egypt is the star in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, other countries in North Africa are also expanding their U.S. soy imports. Algeria started importing U.S. soybeans as a crush plant went online late in 2019 and is now operational. A second crush plant is expected to start crush later this year. U.S. soybeans will be in demand as Algeria imported over 1.5 million tons (MT) of soymeal from South America last year.
Tunisia is the other major soy crusher in North Africa and is also slightly ahead of last year’s U.S. bean imports with 9 million bushels or 243,000 MT.
Morocco’s U.S. soybean meal purchases (225,000 MT) are 35% ahead and even Libya bought 25,000 MT of U.S. meal. Egypt and Morocco also purchased U.S. soybean oil.
USSEC is participating in a March trade mission to Morocco focusing on North Africa, organized by USDA-FAS. American Soybean Association (ASA) Director Daryl Cates will be participating, along with USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb.