USSEC Bridges the Gap Between U.S. Soybean Oil and Colombian Refineries

Guadalajara, MX – The past few months have been a challenge for all parties involved in the soybean supply chain, but U.S. Soy has proven it’s truly open for business. As the second largest importer of soybean oil in Colombia, DAABON in September received its first U.S. soybean oil shipment from a direct purchase from Perdue — the company’s newest supplier. The deal marks the culmination of USSEC’s efforts to bring more U.S. soybean oil to the Americas region.

“We are excited to have a company that has been as a serious player in the Colombian oil industry as a partner of U.S. Soy,” said Leonardo Chapula, USSEC human sector marketing specialist for the Americas. “It is very satisfying to have someone such as DAABON experience the advantages of U.S. soybean oil, and it is even more exciting to know that this relationship can open the door for other great products such as high oleic soybean oil.”

Based in Colombia, DAABON is an importer and refiner of vegetable oils. USSEC’s team in the Americas started building this relationship in early 2019 with a meeting in DAABON headquarters in Santa Marta, Colombia. Since then, DAABON has actively participated in major USSEC events, including the 2019 CrushCon in Quito, Ecuador. Since that first encounter, they have shown great interest in the opportunities U.S. soy represents. After that, USSEC hosted a number of one-on-one meetings to discuss and understand their needs in more detail. 

The Colombian market for crude soybean oil is over 350,000 metric tons per year, with a market share of U.S. soybean oil below 30%. The import quota for 2020 under the Free Trade Agreement is 42,699 metric tons — a number considered small and outdated by many. Meanwhile, the best time to buy U.S. soybean oil (from October – February) incentivizes the Colombian market to buy more imports from South American throughout the year and small imports during the first couple of months to meet the import quota. For 2021, the Free Trade Agreement provides a 0% import tax, and the release of the import quota provides customers the option to buy U.S. soybean oil all year long without any import tax. 

“Getting the key customers closer to our Exporters has been a key activity in the country the past couple of years,” said Nicolas Gomez, a Colombian representative for USSEC. “With key exporters well connected to customers in the country, we expect market share to increase well above 50% in 2021, making Colombia the 2nd customer, after South Korea, worldwide for U.S. soybean oil.”

This achievement is the result of combined efforts between different funding sources. The United Soybean Board and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service have been on point when it comes to supporting programs in Latin American; as well as the Indiana Soybean Association, which had the vision to invest in soybean oil programs in the Colombian market.

 “It´s a fact that USSEC is creating the right matches between U.S. soy producers and suppliers with competitive companies in the Americas region,” said Carlos Salinas, USSEC regional director for the Americas. “We are going to continue these efforts. It has proven a successful strategy and will only help our competitive advantage within the region.”