Vietnam’s Soybean and Soybean Meal Imports Continue to Grow in 2017

A growing gross domestic product, an increasing urban population, and a shift to a more protein-rich diet have combined to boost Vietnam’s meat production and a corresponding need for feedstuffs. In 2017, Vietnam poultry production is forecast up 5 percent and pork production up 2 percent, similar to 2016. In addition, rising aquaculture production destined for both domestic and international markets has also contributed to a surge in imports of feed ingredients, including corn, wheat, and distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

The growing demand in the Vietnam livestock and aquaculture sector, coupled with favorable prices, has also encouraged Vietnam imports of soybean and soybean meal. In 2016, Vietnam imported over 1.5 million tons of soybeans and nearly 5.1 million tons of soybean meal, boosting total protein meal consumption by 13 percent. Soybean and soybean meal imports are forecast to continue their growth in 2017, raising total protein feed consumption 10 percent.

Vietnam’s rising demand for protein feed ingredients provides opportunities for U.S. soybean producers. Over the last few years the U.S. share of soybean exports to Vietnam went up from average of 45 percent to over 60 percent in MY2015/16. On the other hand, both U.S. and Brazil soybean meal market share has decreased slightly, while Argentina provided most of Vietnam’s soybean meal imports. With strong demand for feed ingredients, there are ample opportunities for U.S. soybean producers and the soybean meal industry.

OVERVIEW

Global oilseed production is forecast higher this month. Larger soybean production is forecast for Brazil and South Africa. Higher rapeseed production in Australia and sunflowerseed in Serbia and Turkey more than offset a lower cottonseed production estimate in China. Global soybean exports are projected higher this month as stronger Brazil and Paraguay shipments more than offset lower U.S. trade. Imports are projected higher this month as stronger demand from China and Thailand more than offsets reductions for Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Global soybean stocks are up this month, led by Brazil and China. The U.S. season-average farm price is up 10 cents to $9.60 per bushel.

KEY COMMODITY PRICES

U.S. export bids in February, FOB Gulf, averaged $401/ton, little changed from last month. Prices have been supported temporarily by continuing export sales to China and uncertainty with the South American crop. Similarly, FOB Brazil Paranagua averaged $401/ton, down just $1 from last month, likely on larger soybean production estimates released by CONAB in February. FOB Argentina Up River averaged $397, up $5 from last month.

For the week ending March 2, U.S. 2016/17 soybean export commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 34.3 million tons compared to 26.8 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 53.0 million tons, compared to 42.7 million for the same period last year.

2016/17 TRADE OUTLOOK CHANGES

  • United States
    • Soybean exports are lowered 680,000 tons to 55.1 million on larger exportable supplies from South America.
    • Rapeseed meal imports are lowered 200,000 tons to 3.6 million on increased domestic availability of soybean meal and year-to-date trade pace.
  • Australia soybean meal imports are lowered 100,000 tons to 750,000 on a reduced protein meal consumption forecast, while rapeseed exports are up 300,000 tons to 3.1 million on a higher crop.
  • Brazil soybean exports are boosted 1.5 million tons to 61.0 million following a larger production forecast.
  • Chile soybean meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 700,000 on higher protein meal consumption projections.
  • China
    • Soybean imports are lifted 1.0 million tons to 87.0 million on a strong pace of trade.
    • Rapeseed meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 300,000 reflecting the stronger pace of trade.
    • Palm oil imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 5.0 million on a weaker pace of trade and continuing rapeseed oil auctions from state reserves.
  • Columbia palm oil imports are up 105,000 tons to 235,000 reflecting strong demand and lower domestic production of palm oil.
  • India palm oil imports are cut 400,000 tons to 9.6 million on lower exportable supplies from key producers and ample supplies of other competing vegetable oils.
  • Malaysia palm oil exports are down 500,000 tons to 17.0 million on a smaller crop.
  • Mexico soybean imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 4.2 million, and soybean meal imports are cut 100,000 tons to 2.4 million reflecting weaker demand for protein feed, in line with last year’s consumption estimate.
  • Pakistan palm oil imports are down 100,000 tons to 3.0 million on a weaker pace of trade and reduced exports from regional suppliers.
  • Paraguay soybean exports are increased 100,000 tons to 5.4 million on larger supplies.
  • Peru soybean meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 1.3 million, in line with last year’s import estimate and lower soybean import estimates.
  • Saudi Arabia soybean imports are reduced 200,000 tons to 650,000 reflecting the weaker pace of trade.
  • Thailand soybean imports are up 150,000 tons to 2.8 million, and soybean meal imports are reduced 150,000 tons to 3.0 million on trade data and improving crushing margins.
  • Venezuela soybean meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 700,000 reflecting a stronger pace of trade in the first quarter of the marketing year.