While presently, some of the largest producers of soybeans in the world are in the Americas, soybeans trace their history to Asia. The crop has sustained humans for a long time and has a wide array of use, depending on how you conceive them. Apart from ordinary usage as a food crop, you can use soybeans as an oil, vegetable, or fuel source. 

The health benefits of soybeans are equally extensive and explain why many countries have incorporated soybeans into their agricultural produce. Soybeans are a rich source of protein with content of amino acids in them. This is similar to proteins such as regular beans, milk, and eggs. Soybeans are raw materials in various manufacturing processes, such as vegetable oil, soy milk, and livestock feeds. Here are some of the world’s largest exporters of soybeans, starting from the highest-ranking country.

  1. The United States of America

The US soy production is the second largest in the world. The country accounts for 34% of the world’s soybean production and 108 million metric tons, overshadowing many others. The high supply of soybeans in the US is attributed to soybeans being the country’s most dominant oil seed. According to the US Department of Agriculture, soybeans account for 90% of the country’s oil seed production. This leaves other common seeds such as cashew, peanuts, and sunflower to the remainder.

In addition to the significant production rate of soybeans in the US, they are also the second largest product exporter. In 2020, the US exported $25.6 B of the product to various countries as a food source and a source of vegetable oil. This high production significantly contributes to the revenue the country amasses. 

The US boasts of over 34.4 million hectares of land for use in soybean farming spread across states such as Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Nebraska. Most soybean farming in the US starts in late May to early June, with the harvest from late September to October. 

  1. Brazil

The country with the highest production of soybeans in the world is Brazil. Since the country relies on agriculture for a significant portion of its revenue, it would be no surprise that it would opt for a product with high usage and is in substantial global demand. Some factors contributing to the ample supply of soybeans in Brazil are the low costs and availability of arable land in the country. 

In the last season, 2020/2021, Brazil produced about 4.994 billion bushels of soybeans, which translates to about 135 million metric tons, and exported over $28 B of the product. This is a very high production rate compared to other countries, such as the US, and is an 8.9% rise from the previous year’s production rate. 

The area of land in the country under soybean production will be 42.5 million hectares in 2022, compared to 40.7 million hectares in 2021. This indicates that the government has increased its efforts toward soybean production, intending to meet the steady demand for the product in various regions worldwide. However, challenges arising from the Ukraine conflict could adversely affect production due to fertilizer availability. 

  1. Argentina

Argentina is the third country with a high production and exportation rate of soybeans worldwide. While it ranks third in the general production of soybeans, the country is the world’s largest soybean meal and oil exporter. The production of soybeans in Argentina covers about 16.4 million hectares. This is somewhat lower than the land covered in the US and Brazil and ostensibly explains the lower production rate in the country.

The USDA predicts that the production of soybeans in the 2022/2023 season could be at about 49.5 metric tons, a 7 percent rise from last year’s production. However, there have been specific disputes between Argentinian farmers and their government concerning the production rate in the recent season. With the inflation rate at about 64%, farmers have hoarded some of their produce to shield themselves from the harsh economic times and the volatile market.

The farmers have sold a paltry 46% of their harvest compared to the 57% in the last production phase. These contentions with the administration have created a standoff with the government that will likely impact the soybean production rate. 

Some farmers in the region complain that the unavailability of grain and fertilizer due to the Ukraine and Russia conflicts have affected their ability to produce as expected. Thus, the changes in economic times could adversely impact them if they were to sell their produce at the current prices. 

Last Words

The world depends on soybeans for numerous purposes, including food, oil, and animal feed production. As such, countries such as Brazil, the US, and Argentina have picked up their production rates in stride to meet global needs and demand. While the USDA is confident that soybean supply is enough to sustain global market, the changes concerning production in Brazil and Argentina could be concerning if the conflicts in Ukraine were to continue.