Illinois farmers cash in on surging soybean demand in China

Record soy product demand from China and record crop yields have Illinois farmers ready to cash in.

Soybeans are a component in a vast number of goods and, according to the USDA, China has more than tripled its level of imports since 2005. Poor harvests in other soybean-producing countries and record local yields have local farmers poised to profit from this year’s crops.

AgResouce Co. President Dan Basse said Illinois farmers are in a position to have more profitable months than they expected, considering the heavy local supply.

“We should’ve seen lower prices relative to a 52-bushel-per-acre soybean yield,” Basse said. “But because of that strong demand and some farmer holding, we’ve seen prices as high as $10.25 per bushel.”

He said farmers shouldn’t think the prices will last forever, though, adding that prices will likely drop once countries in South America recover.

“It’s added someplace in the range of 30 to 40 cents to the price of soybeans,” University of Illinois agricultural economics professor Scott Irwin said. “In a period of compressed, tight margins and outright losses in corn, this is very welcome.” Irwin estimated that China’s need for domestic soy has added at least $20 per acre to the bottom lines of farmers across Illinois.

According to the USDA, China buys 60 percent of the world’s soybean exports.

–Illinois News Network

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