soybean field

USSEC Discusses High Oleic Soybeans with Visiting Japanese Delegation

USSEC recently escorted a Japanese delegation representing the three largest crushing companies and five of the largest trading companies that import U.S. soy for a visit to Ohio that showcased high oleic soybeans.

USSEC North Asia Director Paul Burke focused on how the U.S. soy industry could work with the Japanese to create a demand for high oleic soy in Japan in the next three to five years.  According to Mr. Burke, the Japanese industry is interested in high oleic oils as they are cheaper than other oils, yet at this time, all high oleic oils are genetically modified, presenting a potential issue to the Japanese industry and consumers, who are wary of genetically modified foods.  John Motter, who hosted the delegation at his Hancock County, Ohio farm, added that the Japanese are very interested in finding better oil for people and that he felt that the next steps for the U.S. soy industry are logistics and supply.  The take away from this visit, according to Mr. Burke, is that the delegation “gained a better appreciation for high oleic and sees greater opportunities for Japan.  The U.S. industry earns future opportunities to collaborate to develop a demand in Japan.”

Japan is the third largest export market for U.S. soybeans with 60-70% of the market share belonging to the U.S., although the market volume has contracted in recent years with less crushing.  USSEC sees high oleic as a potential key to maintain its market share and creating more volume in the Japanese market.