Europe to Buy More U.S. Soy

Thursday, January 17, 2019

After doubling its purchases of U.S. soybeans this season, the European Union has signaled that it was ready to buy even more from America.  Imports, which jumped amid the U.S.-China trade spat, are “bound to increase even further” as the EU has started the process to authorize the use of U.S. soy for biofuels, the European Commision said last week.

Europe has become a key export destination for U.S. soybeans this season after China, the world’s top importer of soybeans, steered clear from American farm products that helped to push prices near a decade low in September thus boosting their appeal in other markets.  The EU also pledged last year to increase U.S. soybean and liquefied natural gas imports, as the two moved to ease their own trade tensions.

Since the start of the season in July, Europe already imported 5.2 million tons of U.S. soybeans, up from 2.4 million tons at the same time year-earlier.  The crop is “still the most competitive on the market,” the commission said on its website.  Cheap foreign oilseed supplies have helped to offset a shortfall in Europe’s rapeseed harvest, which was hampered by summer drought.

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