The global soyabean trade in the 2022/23 marketing year is forecast to be stronger than last year mainly due to record Brazil production and strong global demand, according to a report by the United States of Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While import demand has dropped in markets such as Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan, this has mostly been offset by growth in markets including Argentina and China, according to the April Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Argentina was forecast to have the largest growth in 2022/23 as crushers looked to supplement declining domestic production with imports from other South American producers, particularly Brazil and Paraguay, the report said.

In contrast, the USDA forecast lower global exports of soyabean meal and soyabean oil, mainly due to the severe drought in Argentina, which had reduced crushing and production of soyabean meal and oil in the world’s largest exporting country of both.

For soyabean meal, global 2022/23 imports were forecast 4.2M tonnes lower than in the previous marketing year to reach their lowest level in six years.

Soyabean meal imports were expected to be down in most countries, with the biggest drops in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the European Union.

Although soyabean meal exports from Brazil and the USA were forecast to increase, supplies would not entirely offset losses in Argentina, the report said.

Importers are expected to increase purchases of soyabeans and other substitutable protein meals such as rapeseed and sunflowerseed meal, according to the report.

For soyabean oil, imports were forecast to be at their lowest level for five years due to reduced Argentine exportable supplies and increased US renewable diesel production, which had reduced the competitiveness of US soyabean oil on the global market, the report said.

Soyabean oil trade has been dampened further following an announcement that the Brazil biodiesel blending mandate had been raised to 12%, putting further pressure on exportable supplies, according to the report.

“As a result of tighter global exportable supplies and higher industrial consumption, soyabean oil as a percentage of global vegetable oil consumption is forecast to fall below 30% in 2022/23 for the first time in nearly a decade,” the USDA said.

Although the use of soyabean oil in food was expected to decline, global vegetable oil food consumption was forecast to rise in 2022/23 due to increased palm, rapeseed and sunflowerseed oil consumption, the report said.