Competition in the global soyabean market is expected to ramp up as both new and existing producers and processors scramble to focus on research and development to satisfy a changing marketplace.

A growing trend in the market was projected to be the leading companies’ increasing focus on the growing markets of soyabean derivatives, according to a new study by global market research company Transparency Market Research (TMR).

The report forecast the global soya market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% between 2017 and 2025, an increase from the current US$146.23bn to US$215.746bn by the end of the period.

The organic soya segment was likely to expand at a greater pace – approximately 8% CAGR – compared with the conventional market, due to increasing consumer preference for natural, additive-free products.

Asia Pacific was the leading geographic region in terms of demand, and this would grow still further, due to its growing population, developing economies giving rise to more health-conscious consumers and a rising awareness of soyabeans’ high protein content.

Growing awareness of soya’s health benefits – which according to TMR included improving metabolism, protecting heart health and decreasing the risk of cancer and diabetes – would drive growth globally as well.

“Another factor proving beneficial for the market is the thrust on R&D by savvy players in order to come up with innovative soya-based foods with greater functionality and the incorporation of newer blends suitable for various applications. One such growth area is applications in animal feed,” said the TMR report’s lead analyst.

On the other end of the scale, the overall disparity between supply and demand would emerge as a restricting factor on the soya market.

With the growing importance of distribution chains, TMR said a gradual reduction in raw material supply flows would materialise, resulting in price volatility and inconvenience for manufacturers trying to maintain their final product price and profit margin.

“In addition, dairy protein ingredients have the first mover advantage and greater consumer acceptance. This is also dealing a blow to the global soyabean market,” said TMR.

Some of the leading players in the soya market included Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, CHS, EI du Pont de Nemours & Co, Fuji Oil Group, House Foods Group, Kerry, Scoular Co and WhiteWave Foods Co.