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European Commission - Press release

United States is Europe's main soya beans supplier with imports up by 112%

Brussels, 7 January 2019

Imports of U.S. soya beans by the European Union increased by 112% over the current market year (July-December 2018), compared to the same period in the previous year. With a share of 75% of EU soya beans imports, the U.S. remains Europe's number one supplier.

Conversely, Europe remains by far the top destination of U.S. soya beans exports (28%), followed by Argentina (10%) and Mexico (9%).

This is part of the implementation of the Joint Statement agreed between Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018. In the Joint Statement, the two sides agreed to increase trade in several areas and products, notably soya beans. As a result, the European Commission is now regularly publishing figures on EU imports.

These latest significant developments in the second half of 2018 contribute to cementing the U.S.' leading position in supplying the EU with soya beans for the entire calendar year, well ahead of Brazil, Europe's traditional main supplier. In 2018 (January to December), 50% of Europe's imports originated in the U.S. and 36% in Brazil (37% in 2017).

European imports of U.S. soya beans are bound to increase even further, following the decision by the European Commission to launch the process for authorising the use of U.S. soya beans for biofuels.

Today's report shows that:

  • Compared to the first 27 weeks of the 2017 marketing year (July-December), EU imports of soya beans from the U.S. are up by 112% at 5,181,833 tonnes;
  • In terms of the EU's total imports of soya beans, the U.S. share is now at 74.5%, compared to 39% in in the same period last year. This puts the U.S. well ahead of Brazil (19%), the EU's second main supplier, followed by Canada (2%), Ukraine (1,6%) and Paraguay (1%);

In December 2018, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the decision to authorise the use of U.S. soya beans for biofuels in Europe. According to the Commission's assessment, the "U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol" submitted by U.S. soya exporters meets the mandatory sustainability requirements of EU legislation for their use in biofuels.

The draft implementing decision has been published for feedback until 16 January on the Better Regulation website and should be adopted in the coming weeks, allowing U.S. exporters to further diversify their European markets whilst contributing to the EU's objectives in the field of renewable energy.

Background

The EU imports about 14 million tonnes of soya beans per year as a source of protein to feed our animals, including chicken, pigs and cattle, as well as for milk production. Soya beans from the U.S. happen to be a very attractive feed option for European importers and users thanks to their competitive prices.

The data included in the report published today on soya beans, comes from the Crops Market Observatory which the European Commission launched in July 2017 to share market data and short-term analysis to ensure more transparency.

For more information

Annex

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IP/19/161

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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