A Snapshot of Global Soybean Demand, Q1 2023


Soybeans are a major global commodity, with demand driven by a variety of factors, including population growth, economic development, and changes in dietary patterns. In this white paper, we will examine the current state of the soybean market, as well as the factors that are likely to drive demand for soybeans in the future. We will also consider the potential challenges that could impact the global soybean market, and suggest strategies for addressing these challenges.

Current State of the Soybean Market:

Currently, the global soybean market is dominated by a few key players, including the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. Together, these three countries account for over 80% of global soybean production. The majority of soybeans are used for animal feed, with the remaining portion used for food and industrial purposes. The global soybean market has been growing at a steady rate over the last few years, with a CAGR of around 3%.

Factors Driving Future Demand for Soybeans:

Population growth is one of the most significant factors driving demand for soybeans in the future. As the world population continues to grow, so too will the demand for food, including soybeans. According to the United Nations, the world population is projected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050. This increase in population will lead to an increase in demand for food, including soybeans, which are a major protein source for both humans and animals.

Economic development in emerging markets, such as China and India, is also likely to drive demand for soybeans. As these countries experience an increase in disposable income and shifts in dietary patterns, the demand for protein, including soybeans, is likely to increase. According to a report by the USDA, China’s soybean imports are projected to reach a record high of 93 million tons in the 2020/2021 marketing year.

In addition, the growing demand for meat, particularly in developing countries, is also likely to drive demand for soybeans. Soybeans are a major source of protein for animal feed, and as the demand for meat increases, so too will the demand for soybeans.

Potential Challenges:

The global soybean market is facing a number of challenges that could impact future demand. Climate change and land use changes are likely to impact soybean production, as well as the availability of land for soybean cultivation. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change is likely to have a negative impact on crop yields, including soybeans. The report also states that extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, are likely to become more common, which could also negatively impact soybean production.

Additionally, increasing competition from alternative protein sources, such as plant-based alternatives, could also impact demand for soybeans. The market for plant-based protein is growing at a rapid pace, with many companies investing in research and development to improve the taste and texture of plant-based alternatives. This could lead to a decline in demand for soybeans, particularly in developed countries where alternative protein sources are more readily available.

Another potential challenge facing the global soybean market is the rising cost of production. The cost of inputs, such as seeds, fertilizer, and labor, are likely to increase, which could lead to higher prices for soybeans.

Strategies for Addressing Challenges:

To address the challenges facing the global soybean market, it will be important to invest in sustainable soybean production practices. This includes investing in research and development to improve crop yields and reduce the impact of extreme weather events. Additionally, it will be important to develop new technologies, such as precision agriculture, to improve the efficiency and sustainability of soybean production.


Overall, the global demand for soybeans is likely to continue to grow in the future, driven by population growth, economic development, and changes in dietary patterns. However, the soybean market is also facing a number of challenges, such as climate change, land use changes, and competition from alternative protein sources.