New Soybean Markets Require New Ways to Ship
Many of these newer destinations require a different logistics approach
This year, USDA projections show, soybean yields will likely increase 6% to 4.69 billion bushels, or 127.65 million metric tons. Record harvests on top of the loss of the China market constitute “a double whammy," reports American Journal of Transportation.
American farmers must now find alternatives for some 36.5 million metric tons of their soybeans previously earmarked for China.
All this has sent American soybean marketers scampering. One partial solution is an expansion of countries that buy the crop. The AJOT reports says there are growing markets overseas for U.S. soybeans: Mexico, Argentina, Thailand, Indonesia, even Iran before Trump re-imposed sanctions.
Many of these newer destinations require a different logistics approach – containers instead of bulk carriers. A bulk carrier can transport tens of thousands of tons at a time, while a 20-foot container holds just 25 tons.
In Indonesia, for example, demand is decentralized and spread over any number of islands. Containers not only hold far less than bulk, but can be delivered into smaller, far-flung ports servicing a disbursed farming population.
Read the full report here.