Shipments of US soybean meal to other countries are expected to climb to a record high next year as more of America’s top oilseed crop is crushed for vegetable oil sought after to make green diesel.
America’s soy meal, which is created along with oil during crushing of whole soybeans, is forecast to reach exports of 13.9 million tons in the 2023-24 season, the US Department of Agriculture said Monday. That would exceed the record 13.2 million tons valued at almost $7 billion that was hit in the season ended in September.
Higher global demand for US meal comes as drought in Argentina, typically the world’s biggest soy meal exporter, has slashed the South American country’s supplies available for shipment.
More soybeans are being processed as energy and agriculture companies look to profit from incentives to make cleaner burning fuel made from renewable sources such as farm crops. The production frenzy has led to a rush on soy oil, a key ingredient in green diesel. That in turn is leading to more soy meal, a commodity used to feed livestock. The trend is expected to continue. For the first time earlier this year, more US soy oil was used for biofuel production than food and other domestic uses.
“US exports of soybean meal should continue to expand as new soybean processing facilities come online over the next several years,” said Scott Gerlt, chief economist for the American Soybean Association.