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Evolving Demand In India Could Boost Demand For U.S. Soy

A lot is changing in India and it’s good news for U.S. soybean farmers. Since 1990, soy oil consumption in India has grown 590 percent and soy meal consumption has risen 709 percent. This dramatic increase resulted from India’s changing demographics. The country’s booming population is projected to exceeding China’s by 2030, and the nation’s economic growth grew at an average of 7.4 percent annually from 2000-2010.

As incomes increase across the nation, the population shifts toward urban areas, and meat consumption is rising with the shift. As a result, India’s animal ag sector, especially poultry, has grown significantly, and Indian soybean production has grown 537 percent since 1990. But the gains in these areas will not meet the explosion of human and animal demand for soy.

That’s where U.S. soybean farmers come in. The checkoff has worked to increase the amount of U.S. soy used in food products and for feed in the growing poultry and aquaculture sectors. Soy checkoff farmer-leader Sharon Covert says India could begin importing soy in five to seven years. And U.S. soy can meet the country’s demand for a high-quality crop.

“India’s increasing demand for high-quality soy for human and animal consumption could mean big things for U.S. soy,” said Covert, a soybean farmer from Tiskilwa, Ill. “We’ve done a lot already to promote U.S. soy in India, so when demand increases in that market, the demand for U.S. soy will also increase.”

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