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Report Shows Growth in Organic Soybean Demand

Mercaris highlights gap amongst U.S. organic soybean production, imports and organic crop acreage

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Mercaris, a data services company bringing market intelligence to sustainable agriculture, has released its monthly market update analyzing U.S. organic soybean demand over the 2017/18 marketing year (MY).

Combining U.S. organic soybean production and imports, Mercaris estimates organic soybean supplies in the U.S. exceeded 29 million bushels over this period — demonstrating the continued strength in U.S. demand for organic commodities.

Organic soybean imports made up 22 million of the 29 million bushels of soybean demand over the 2017/18 MY signaling room for growth in the production of organic soybeans in the U.S. Mercaris estimates a 15 percent year over year increase in U.S. organic soybean production for the 2018/19 MY. While the increase in production growth is progress towards meeting U.S. market needs, the increase equates to a little more than one million bushels.

“The persistent need for organic soybean imports begs a very important question: why isn’t the U.S. achieving a more significant expansion in acres?” said Kellee James, co-founder and CEO at Mercaris. “Purchasers clearly prefer to source domestically produced organic soybeans; however, the industry needs to relate this preference back to U.S. growers in a way that expands U.S. acres.”

If domestic demand for organic soybeans remains unchanged—an additional 597,000 acres of organic soybeans will need to be grown in the U.S to fully offset the current volume of imported organic soybeans. To curtail the nation’s reliance on organic soybean imports, organic soybean acreage will need to continue double-digit growth for several years to come.

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