More European cows and pigs will get fat on American feed this season.
European Union imports of soymeal — crushed soybeans used to make food for livestock — are set to surge to a seven-year high of 20.2 million tons this season as heat and drought ravage pastures, boosting the price of locally grown wheat and corn, according to French consultancy Strategie Grains. While Brazil and Argentina will still dominate supply, shipments from the U.S. will post the biggest gains as America-China trade tensions roil the market, it said.
U.S. soymeal shipments to the EU are projected to climb by about 80 percent to 1.2 million tons as Brazil sells more feed to China, according to Moret-sur-Loing, France-based Strategie Grains.
“The changes in the soymeal volumes to be imported from the U.S. this year is most interesting,” said Laurent Crastre, oilseed analyst at Strategie Grains. “The difference is very unusual due to cheaper availability of U.S. soybeans, which is making soymeal imports attractive for Europe.”
The appeal of U.S. soymeal in Europe has increased as prices fell by almost a fifth since May after China imposed a 25 percent levy on American soybean shipments in a tit-for-tat response to tariffs imposed by Donald Trump’s administration. European wheat prices also rose to a five-year high earlier this month, widening the spread between the two.
American soybean prices will remain weak in the coming months on abundant U.S. output and a drop in exports to China, BMI said in report.
“Soymeal is very attractive versus cereals and also versus other meals like sunmeal and rapemeal, and this will induce higher incorporation rates in feeds, driving up imports of soymeal,” Andree Defois, president of Strategie Grains. “The EU will need more meals to offset the drop in cereal use in animal feed.”