Mac Marshall: It’s more than just setting a record


Mac Marshall: It’s more than just setting a record

The most recent soybean marketing year set a record, “a really banner year for the soy complex,” said Mac Marshall, market intelligence vice-president for the United Soybean Board and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. The ‘20/‘21 marketing year set records for U.S. whole bean exports, 61.65 million metric tonnes (MMT) of whole soybeans shipped to markets across the globe, at a value of over $28 billion in revenue for the U.S. soybean industry, which Marshall called exciting. “That’s not to say that that’s the sum total of the story,” Marshall told Brownfield Ag News, during the recent Trade Talk event at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City. “I think what’s really fascinating about that is, among all of our major markets, none of them set a volume record, which I think is testament to the ongoing market diversification efforts that we’ve taken to ensure that we have a continually resilient demand globally.”

The U.S. soybean industry achieved high export results across the board this year, according to a news release from the United Soybean Board, U.S. Soybean Export Council and American Soybean Association. The U.S. soybean industry shipped 74.76 MMT of total soybean complex, valued at more than $34 billion, based on Sep-Aug for whole beans, and Oct-Sep for soybean meal and oil. International markets purchased 12.3 MMT of soybean meal and approximately 781,766 metric tonnes of soybean oil.

The U.S. is also seeing record soybean crush levels indicating what Marshall calls palpable domestic demand. “So that set up things really nicely,” said Marshall, “providing, I think, a nice set of market signals for farmers to go into in the ‘21 season.”

Although not a record, the U.S. soybean crop just harvested is close to it, fractionally behind the 2018 crop, “and it’s really great because as we see that global demand, and as we see expanding demand for crush here domestically, making sure that we can continue to supply that is essential,” he said. “Fortunately, we’ve got the greatest farmers on the planet who are keen on delivering that season after season.”

How will soybean growers meet growing demand? Marshall answers by saying it takes more than just looking at the supply side and more than just looking at the demand side. “Each year we invest in production research. Our farmers are executing our on-farm strategies; they are looking for new means of revenue diversification, and I think a lot of what we’re seeing in the sustainability marketplace is in terms of new revenue streams for carbon as well as validation of sustainable practices,” said Marshall. “These are all pieces that come together to ensure not just that we’re meeting the supply on a volume basis but doing so in a sustainable and differentiated manner.”

That, said Marshall, is what is being done with checkoff-funded marketing and promotion efforts for U.S.-origin soy. “Whether we’re consuming it domestically, or it’s being sold in 70-plus countries around the globe,” he said, “it is meeting what end-users need as far as specifications.”

AUDIO: Mac Marshall