A Giant-Sized History of Soybeans (Vol.7) – From 1971 to Present

The history of world soybean production and trade can be divided into six major phases.

In this article, we’re discussing the SIXTH phase of soybean development: From 1971 to Present (The Rise of Latin America)

Starting in the early 1970s, Latin America, led by Brazil, began to emerge as a major soybean producing area. In 1974, Brazil’s production passed that of China and in 1975 Latin America’s total production, the major producers being Brazil and Argentina, passed that of Asia. Latin America also emerged as a major soybean exporter. The rise of production in Latin America caused America’s share of world production to fall from its peak of 76.1% in 1969, to 34% in 2017.

Check out the below list of interesting facts and #DYK about soybean history, uses, and production I’ve compiled for this era.

  • In 1971, Yong wrote his MS thesis on soy sauce fermentation.
  • In 1971, while Senior Food and Agricultural Industries Officer for FAO at the United Nations, De wrote a 151-page bulletin on the Technology of Production of Edible Flours and Protein Products from Soybean, which described the manufacture of soy oil, defatted soy flour and grits, whole soy flour, soy protein isolate, soymilk, tempeh, and tofu, often on a scale and using equipment suited to Third World countries.
  • After congress passed the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1971 (which basically allowed private companies to patent new hybrid seeds), many commercial seed companies began developing new soybean hybrids.
  • In 1971, Felipe Suberbie and Felipe Tello launched Sustilac for infants allergic to cow’s milk.
  • In 1971, the ASA opened its first Latin American office in Mexico City.
  • In 1971, India’s first systematic research on soyfoods development was started at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, at Pantnagar, with the technical collaboration of both the University of Illinois and the Nave Technical Institute at Shahjahanpur.
  • In 1972, Thio wrote about introducing soyfoods to Zambia (Africa).
  • The first soy dairy in India was opened by Seventh-day Adventists in 1972 at Spicer Memorial College in Poona.
  • First made in India in 1972 by SPRA, TVP (extruded/textured soy flour) was India’s most popular soyfood and by 1981 five companies were making an estimated 4,000 tonnes a year.
  • In 1973, a projected shortage of soybeans in the USA caused the US government to place a partial embargo on exports. This showed European livestock farmers their heavy dependence on US soybeans and led the EEC to set the goal of reducing its dependence, in part by growing more soybeans in Europe.
  • In 1973, China made its first significant soybean imports ever (255,000 tonnes).
  • Until 1973, Turkey was the leading soybean producing country in the Middle East.
  • In 1973, the first World Soy Protein Conference was held in Munich.
  • The US soybean export embargo of 1973 artificially raised world prices until it became profitable for even the most inefficient producer to grow soybeans.
  • By 1973, soybeans had become America’s number one cash crop, and leading export commodity, ahead of both wheat and corn.
  • During the 1970s, Brazil emerged as a major soybean crusher, challenging the US lead.
  • In 1973, the Mexican government began developing a group of ground beef and pork products extended with 20-30% textured soy flour, usually in the form of Spanish-spiced sausages containing about 48% protein.
  • Although it took several thousand years for the world to pass the production level of 1,000 million bushels (27,216,000 metric tons) a year in 1961, it took only 12 more years to pass the level of 2,000 million bushels in 1973, and only six years to pass the level of 3,000 million bushels.
  • Between 1970 and 1980, Brazil’s soybean production increased astronomically from 1.2 million to 15.4 million tonnes.
  • In 1973, C.E. Clinkard wrote a book titled Soya, The Wonder Food.
  • In 1973, the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Water started soybean field trials.
  • In 1973, Iran passed Turkey and by 1976 had become a significant soybean producer, with an output of over 100,000 tonnes.
  • In 1974, for the first time in its expansive history, China became a net soybean importer (279,000 tonnes).
  • In 1974, the American Soybean Association opened an office for Eastern Europe in Vienna.
  • In 1974, the success of the first soybean trial in Rwanda was such that the diocese of Lumumbashi and other missions decided to set up their own flour milling operation and to teach the local people how to cultivate soybeans for their own consumption.
  • During the 1970s, soyfoods came to be increasingly popular in Australia.
  • Marketing studies of soyfoods were done by Williams and Rathod (1974), von Oppen (1974), and Rathod (1976). They agreed the four most promising soyfoods for India were soy flour, soy oil, soymilk, and extruded/textured soy flour (TVP).
  • In 1974, Brazil passed West Germany to become the world’s second largest soybean crusher, after the US.
  • In 1974, the historic First Latin American Soy Protein Conference was held in Mexico City, sponsored by the ASA and the US Foreign Agricultural Service.
  • In 1974, Brazil passed China to become the world’s second largest soybean producing country, after the US.
  • In 1974, the prestigious American Oil Chemists’ Society held its annual spring meeting in Mexico City and 13 papers were presented at the “Soy Protein Symposium,” a number of them by Latin American Researchers.
  • In about 1974, soybean production in Zimbabwe reached the 10,000 tonnes.
  • India’s soybean production increased dramatically from only 35,000 tonnes in 1974 to 250,000 tonnes in 1979, a sevenfold increase in five years.
  • In 1974, INTSOY organized a major conference on Soybean Production, Protection, and Utilization, attended by 97 scientists from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
  • In 1974, the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) began to study soybean feasibility and performance as a regular crop.
  • In 1974, Yong and Wood wrote “The Microbiology and Biochemistry of Soy Sauce Fermentation,” a definitive 38-page study containing 270 references.
  • In 1975, the Soybean Research Institute at the Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences was founded in China under the direction of Professor Wang Jin-ling.
  • In 1975, Anton Wolf, a plant researcher in Vienna, began a personal campaign to reintroduce soybeans to Austria.
  • As a follow-up to the highly successful Munich Soy Protein Conference of 1973, a Soya Protein Conference and Exhibition was held at the Cunard International Hotel in London, 1975.
  • In 1975, Bangladesh launched the Bangladesh Coordinated Soybean Research Project (BCSRP) under the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), to study the introduction, cultivation, and use of soybeans.
  • Soy Proteins Symposium was written by Wilding in 1975.
  • In 1975, ITAL developed VITAL.
  • Harvested acreage of soybeans in America passed wheat and hay in the mid-1970s.
  • In 1975, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) began work to popularize soybeans and soyfoods in Bangladesh.
  • Starting in the mid-1970s, Africa began to import US soybeans, soy oil, and soybean meal.
  • In 1975, Berra and Pontecorvo at the Food Science Chemistry Department of the National University of Mexico published work they did on developing whole soy flour, soymilk, and atole for rural Mexico, based on processes developed at the USDA in Peoria, Illinois.
  • In 1975, Olvebra Co. started producing a soymilk.
  • In 1975, Latin America passed Asia to become the world’s second largest soybean producing region, after the US.
  • In 1975, the Mennonite Central Committee published Basic Soybean Cooking for Bangladesh by Ramona G. Smith.
  • After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, there was a big influx of Vietnamese into Australia, swelling the number to 50,000, of which 30,000 are ethnic Chinese. This crated new markets for Asian soyfoods such as tofu, even though the majority of Australia’s 15 million people, most of British descent, had little interest in new foods.
  • From 1975-1977, Zimbabwe was Africa’s second largest soybean producer, after Nigeria, and from 1977 on Zimbabwe ran a close second to Egypt, having passed Nigeria.
  • In 1975, Thio wrote Small-Scale and Home Processing of Soya Beans with Applications and Recipes, a 59-page book published by the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.
  • A number of well-known books on soybeans and their production have been written in Chinese, including Soybean Breeding and Breeding of Good Strains (Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences 1976).
  • Argentina’s soybean production skyrocketed during the 1970s, leaping from a mere 27,000 tonnes to 3,700,000 tonnes in 1979.
  • In 1976, Jensen and Djurtoft of Denmark published a large report on tempeh.
  • An important early researcher on soyfoods was Mohammed A. Khaleque, who in 1976 did work on soymilk and by 1980 was Oilseeds Project Director at BARI in Dacca.
  • The growing interest in soyfoods in Brazil in the mid-1970s led to and was stimulated by a national conference held in July 1976 in Porto Allegre. Entitled “Brazilian Soybeans: Facts and Outlook,” it focused on soy protein foods and their potential importance to Brazil.
  • The American Soybean Association (ASA) opened an office in Madrid in 1976.
  • In 1976, Yong and Wood developed a new quick method for making fermented soy sauce.
  • Starting in the late 1970s, the more than 160 years of work on growing soybeans in France finally began to bear fruit.
  • In 1976, French soybean production (of 2 tonnes) was first recorded in the FAO Production Yearbook.
  • In 1976, Argentina passed the USSR to become the world’s fourth largest soybean producer, behind the US, Brazil, and China.
  • From 1976 to 1981, average soybean yields in China rose by 18%, from 989 to 1,163 kg/ha.
  • The rather rapid rise of soybean hectarage, yield, and production in China after 1976 was caused by a number of factors, mostly related to governmental policy and research.
  • In 1977, Sadaaki Ikata wrote a major book in Japanese entitled Research on the Ancient History of Grains in Japan.
  • China first imported soybeans from the USA in 1977.
  • The first hybrid soybeans, all patented, became commercially available in the late 1970s.
  • The Canadian soybean crop reached 16 million bushels in 1977.
  • During the 1970s, soybean production expanded explosively in Brazil, casting the country into world prominence as a major soybean producer.
  • Soybeans as Human Food: Unprocessed and Simply Processed was written by Wang in 1977.
  • Interest in tempeh in Australia began in about 1977, when McComb published an excellent BSc thesis on the subject.
  • In 1977, Whisker and Pamela Dixon wrote The Soybean Grow and Cook Book (64 pages), which drew new attention to both home gardening and soyfoods recipes.
  • In 1977, R.H. Moretti introduced the “mechanical cow,” a compact soymilk making machine.
  • Pierre Gayroud, a soybean breeder, wrote an interesting dissertation in 1977 on the “Origin and Evolution of the Soybean in Europe,” tracing the origins of the soybean lines in his breeding program.
  • Egypt’s first commercial soyfood was introduced in 1977, when Seventh-day Adventists built a food factory in Cairo and began very successful manufacture and marketing of a soymilk made by an innovative microwave cooking process using locally grown soybeans.
  • In 1977, soybean production in Africa began to takeoff, fueled by large increases in production in Egypt and Zimbabwe.
  • By 1977, Rwanda’s soybean production had jumped to 6,000 hectares, stimulated in large part by installation of a new oil mill using soybeans.
  • In 1977, Dominguez’s booklet “Los Mil Usos de la Soya” (The Thousand Uses of Soy) was published as an entire issue of the popular magazine Quadernos de Natura by Editorial Posada.
  • Starting in 1977, the Coordinated Services of Public Health in the Mexican State of Guerrero began an active program of introducing soybeans into the diet of the people there.
  • In 1978, the Eleventh International Congress on Nutrition was held in Rio de Janeiro; papers on soyfoods were presented by Torun and Viteri, and others.
  • In 1978, Marcea Newman and Yoshiko Wright started Australia’s first known tofu shop, The Soybean Factory in Surry Hills, NSW.
  • In 1978, following US diplomatic recognition of China and the first large imports of US soybeans, the American Soybean Association (ASA) began to wonder if China’s 1 billion people and 200 million hogs might not be the next big market for American soybeans.
  • In 1978, Israel’s first tofu shop, Pillar of Dawn Tofu, was opened by Avraham Sand and Ben Zion Solomon at Moshav Me’or Modi’im.
  • Peru established the Institute of Agri-Industry Research (IIA) in Lima around 1978.
  • The earliest non-Chinese tofu shop in India was started in 1978 by Westerners near Auroville, a large spiritual community in Tamil Nadu. Called Hannes Bakery, by 1980 it was making 120 cakes of tofu daily.
  • A new wave of interest in soyfoods started in Israel in the late 1970s, influenced strongly by the soyfoods movement in the US.
  • Starting in 1978, Brazil began to permit the use of soy as a meat extender at levels up to 22%, especially in the form of textured soy flour or defatted soy flour.
  • In 1978, the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux at Farnham Royal, Bucks, publishers of the world-famous Food Science and Technology Abstracts, introduced a new publication, Soyabean Abstracts, with summaries of publications on soybeans and soyfoods from around the world.
  • Starting in 1979, France was the only significant soybean producer in Western Europe.
  • In 1979, Nestle introduced Bonus brand soymilk (not infant formula) in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, becoming the first European company to make and market soymilk internationally.
  • In 1979, French soybean production passed the “takeoff” stage, reaching 17,000 tonnes that year and 23,000 tonnes in 1981. All of these soybeans were grown in southern France, with the leading provinces being Haute Garonne, Tarn, and Gers, all near the Spanish border.
  • One of the most important developments with soyfoods in France was the rise, starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s of a popular soyfoods movement, closely aligned with the macrobiotic movement.
  • In 1979, Bau and Debry at the University of Nancy published on soy sprouts and in 1980 did a review of traditional and modern soyfoods; they predicted that these would become increasingly important in the future.
  • Harvested acreage of soybeans in America passed corn grown for grain in 1979.
  • In 1979, the leading soybean producers in East Asia were: China (10,500,000 tonnes), Indonesia (570,000 tonnes), South Korea (335,000 tonnes), North Korea (330,000 tonnes), India (250,000 tonnes), and Japan (192,000 tonnes).
  • In 1979, IIA and INTSOY published a 96-page Spanish language soyfoods recipe book (Recetario Frijol Soya) containing 80 recipes.
  • The Canadian soybean crop reached 23 million bushels in 1979.
  • Soybeans and soybean products, by 1979, had become America’s agricultural export superstars, netting $7,500 million that year, making it the top ag export earner with 23% of total ag export earnings (ahead of feed grains 21%, wheat and flour 15%, and livestock and livestock products 10%), and the second overall export earner behind aircraft.
  • Total European soybean production grew from a mere 12,000 tonnes in 1960 to 108,000 tonnes in 1970, and 660,000 tones in 1980.
  • By 1980, an estimated 98% of the soybeans in Mexico were being used in animal feeds.
  • In 1980, China produced a mere 9.3% of the world’s soybeans, down from 44% in 1954 and 38% in 1957.
  • In 1980, France’s soybean crushing industry, with a capacity of 3.5 million tonnes, was the second largest in Europe after West Germany.
  • Imports of soybean meal grew the most rapidly in France, from 100,000 tonnes in 1960 to 2,800,000 tonnes in 1980, making France Europe’s leading soy meal importer at that point.
  • By 1980, there were 7,181 accessions in the US soybean collection.
  • In 1980, in a popular article on “The Great Bean of China,” Whisker reported that he had developed several soybean strains (including Gemsoy II) that yielded better than the widely available Fiskeby V from Sweden.
  • In 1980 Italy, with a population o,f 56.8 million (the second largest in Western Europe), consumed 300,000 tonnes of soy oil (the second largest in Europe) giving a per capita annual consumption of 5.28 kg (fifth largest, and slightly below the average). Italians had by far the highest per capita consumption of liquid oils and fats in Europe (22.7 kg), but very low butter and margarine consumption.
  • In 1980, the UK with a population of 56 million people (third largest in Europe), had the sixth largest soy oil consumption of eight EEC countries, only 4.56 kg per person a year. Soybean crushing capacity was also low (fifth) at 1.4 million tonnes.
  • Interest in low-technology soyfoods in Ireland began in the early 1980s, when Jane O’Brien started teaching and writing about these foods in Dublin.
  • In 1980, West Germany, with a population of 61,400,000 people, had the highest consumption of soy oil of any European country (550,000 tonnes), the third highest annual per capita soy oil consumption (8.96 kg, after Netherlands and Denmark), and the largest soybean crushing capacity (4,300,000 tonnes).
  • In 1980, leading soybean importers in Eastern Europe were Romania and Poland (both at 270,000 tonnes), followed by Yugoslavia (210,000), East Germany (GDR, 72,000 tonnes) and Czechoslovakia (36,000 tonnes). There were eight nations in Western Europe with larger soybean imports than Poland or Romania. Poland, with a population of 35.8 million in 1980, was Eastern Europe’s largest nation, followed by Yugoslavia (22.6 million) and Romania (22.5 million).
  • The soyfoods/soycrafters movement and the macrobiotic movement helped to introduce soyfoods in Denmark starting in the early 1980s.
  • By 1980, Brazil was producing more soy oil than all nations in Western Europe combined.
  • One of the leaders of the soyfoods and soycrafters movement in West Germany was Wolfgang Furth-Kuby, president of the publishing company Ahorn Verlag near Munich, which published in German three books by Shurtleff and Aoyagi: Das Miso Buch (July 1980), Das Tofu Buch (August 1981), and Das Tempeh Buch (1984).
  • In 1980, Hymowitz made the first American soybean germplasm collecting trip to China in 50 years, following in the footsteps of Dorsett and Morse.
  • By 1980, Mexico was the second largest consumer of soybeans for feed and food (after Brazil), and the largest soybean importer in Latin America.
  • In 1981, Hymowitz presented a paper entitled “The History of Soybeans in the West” at the annual Soyfoods Conference.
  • In 1981, 76% of India’s soybeans were produced in Madhya Pradesh, 21% were grown in Uttar Pradesh, and the remaining 3% in Bihar, Himchal Pradesh, and Rajhasthan, all in northern India; yields were 78% higher than the highest yielding traditional pulse, pigeonpea.
  • In the spring of 1981, Le Compas , a macrobiotic magazine, did a long cover story on soyfoods.
  • By 1981, India was the eighth largest soybean producing nation in the world.
  • Proceedings of the World Conference on Soya Processing and Utilization was written by Baldwin in 1981.
  • The first Brazilian book entirely on soyfoods, O Livro da Soja by Jane Cadwell, was published in 1981.
  • In 1981, La Soya y Sus Derivados: Tofu, Miso, Tempeh by Shurtleff and Aoyagi was published in Mexico, furthering the introduction of low-tech soyfoods.
  • In 1981, Gil Harrison, ASA’s Director in Mexico, issued an incisive report, “What’s Holding up the Introduction of Soya into the Human Diet in Latin America?”
  • In 1981, Daenzer wrote Switzerland’s first book on soyfoods, titled Soya-Eiweiss: Nahrung der Zukunft (“Soy Protein: Food of the Future,” 82 pp.). It focused on textured soy protein, but also discussed the larger picture of soybeans and soyfoods, giving information on history, nutrition, vegetarian recipes, world hunger, and soycrafting as a spiritual practice.
  • In 1981, Verena Krieger’s major article, “Yesterday Steak, Tomorrow Tofu,” (“Ieri la bistecca, domini il tofu”) with many color photos, was published in Tages Anzeige. After that tofu became the darling of the Swiss media.
  • In 1981, soy oil accounted for about 44% of the world’s edible vegetable oils.
  • In 1981, the four largest African soybean producers were: Egypt (136,000 tonnes), Zimbabwe (97,000), Nigeria (est. 80,000), and South Africa (26,000).
  • By 1981, in Mexico there were at least six companies making soymilk, three making tofu, six making whole soy flour, and seven making defatted soy flour, textured soy flour, or other modern soy protein products.
  • Australia’s first tempeh shops were started in 1981 (Cyril and Elly Cain had a pioneering tempeh shop in Eumundi, QLD).
  • In 1981, Wolfgang Furth-Kuby started an organization called Sojaquelle. Sojaquelle was a source of information about soyfoods, of tofu kits, and of tofu equipment and ingredients.
  • A number of well-known books on soybeans and their production have been written in Chinese, including Soybeans: Historical Stories (Liu 1981).
  • Germany’s first tofu shop was started in July 1981 by Alexander Knabben.
  • In 1981, a new impetus was given to soybean cultivation in Switzerland, with Nestle helping to finance an almost dormant research project by a Swiss federal agricultural station to develop new soybeans adapted to Switzerland.
  • Around 1981, the first tofu shop was started in New Zealand and by 1983 the country had at least three tofu shops.
  • Between 1949 and 1982, Chinese researchers developed more than 200 new soybean cultivars that were used in production.
  • To help expand soybean research, the first China/USA Soybean Symposium was held at the University of Illinois in July 1982.
  • A number of popular books on soybeans and their production have been written in Chinese, including Soybeans (Wang 1982).
  • In 1982, Verena Krieger’s article “Hier le steak, demain le tofu” was published in French.
  • In 1982, France could boast six tofu, one tempeh, two soymilk, and five miso plants.
  • By late 1982, there were four tofu plants in West Germany and one tempeh plant.
  • By 1982, there were three tofu shops in Israel and the soyfoods movement was just entering its beginning stages.
  • In 1982, Colombia was the fifth largest soybean producer in Latin America, producing 100,000 tonnes.
  • The only known producer of soy sprouts in Europe in 1982, Portman Soyfoods, was located in the Netherlands.
  • By 1982, there were four tofu plants (a number of them Chinese-run) and one tempeh plant in England.
  • By 1982, there were four tofu shops in Italy, with pioneering tofu and tempeh work being done by Gilberto Bianchini.
  • By 1982, Bolivia was the sixth largest soybean producer in Latin America.
  • In 1982, the Project for the Mechanization of Agriculture in the Kingdom of Bhutan purchased a large mechanized tofu and soymilk production system from Takai Tofu & Soymilk Equipment Co. in Japan.
  • By 1982, Brazil was crushing 14 million tonnes of soybeans annually, almost half of America’s 29.3 million.
  • By 1982, soybeans and soyfoods still played a very minor role in Africa.
  • By 1982, production of low technology soyfoods in the Netherlands was thriving, with five tempeh plants (including the largest one in Europe) and eight tofu plants.
  • In 1982, the American Soybean Association (ASA) opened an office in Beijing, under the direction of Terrence Foley, a specialist in East Asian history and culture who spoke fluent Chinese.
  • In 1983, China banned US soybean imports in retaliation against unilateral quotas on Chinese textile sales to the US and, perhaps, to underscore China’s dislike of continued American diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.
  • By early 1983, Australia had seven tofu shops, three run by Caucasians and four run by Oriental Australians, and four tempeh shops, all run by Caucasians.
  • By 1983, in Europe there were 57 companies making tofu, 13 making tempeh (especially in the Netherlands), 17 making soymilk, 10 making miso, and 1 making shoyu.
  • One of the great scientific advances in agriculture was the improvement of the soybean in the 1990s to withstand herbicides.
  • From 1996 to 2004, plantings of biotech herbicide-tolerant soybeans rose from zero to 86 percent.
  • Between 1976 and 2005, soybean plantings in the U.S. increased by 50 percent and national average soybean yields increased almost as much.
  • Although the US soybean collection is one of the largest, best documented, and best maintained in the world, it is quite small when compared with similar germplasm collections of cereal grains such as rice, wheat, or sorghum, which are from two to five times larger.
  • Interestingly, as the number of soybean accessions in the US germplasm collection increased, the number of cultivated varieties decreased.
  • US soybean varieties can be traced to 11 major ancestors, all introduced from East Asia between 1901 and 1927. None of these is from the Dorsett-Morse Expedition.
  • The world’s earliest scientific research on the chemical/nutritional composition of soybeans and soyfoods was done in Europe.
  • The USSR was the first nation in Europe and the second nation in the Western world (after the USA) to become a major producer of soybeans.
  • Sweden is the home of two large companies that have played a major role in world soymilk production: Tetra Pak International and Alfa Laval.
  • The world’s top 10 soybean producing countries as of 2016 are, in order from least to greatest: Uruguay (3.2 mmt), Bolivia (3.3 mmt), Ukraine (3.9 mmt), Canada (6.0 mmt), Paraguay (10.0 mmt), India (10.5 mmt), China (12.2 mmt), Argentina (53.4 mmt), Brazil (86.8 mmt), and the USA (108.0 mmt).
  • It was Japan who thrust the soybean into prominence in the Western world, an act which eventually contributed to the downfall of Manchuria as a major producer and exporter.
  • Soy plantations occupy over 60% of Uruguay’s arable farmland.
  • The soybean is the most treasured crop in Bolivia, and it is largely produced in the Santa Cruz region.
  • According to the USDA, soybean production accounts for 3% of Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product, and employs 45,000 workers directly, while generating 65,000 more jobs indirectly.
  • There are about 14,000 soybean producers in Bolivia.
  • The Ukraine is the largest producer of soybeans in Europe.
  • Half of the soybeans produced in the Ukraine are exported.
  • 70% of soybeans produced in Canada are grown in the Quebec and Ontario provinces, and almost two thirds of them are exported to Japan, the Netherlands, Southeast Asia, the U.S, Europe, and the Middle East.
  • Paraguay accounts for 3% of worldwide soybean production.
  • India is Asia’s second largest producer of soybeans, and it accounts for 3.95% of global production.
  • In India, the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh account for 89% of the country’s total soybean production.
  • China accounts for 4% of soybean production in the world.
  • China accounts for 60% of worldwide soybean imports.
  • Argentina has farmlands of over 20.3 million hectares dedicated to growing soybeans. Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Santa Fe are the states where soybeans are grown in the largest amounts.
  • Argentina accounts for 18% of the world’s soybean production.
  • As the second largest producer of soybeans worldwide, Brazil accounts for 30% of the global production of the crop.
  • Soybeans grown in Brazil have higher protein levels than those grown in many other parts of the world, and thereby fetch higher prices in international markets.
  • Brazil produces a large quantity of non-genetically modified (non-GMO) soybeans.
  • In the US, soybeans are the dominant oil seed, and account for 90% of the nation’s oil seed production, according to USDA.
  • The US accounts for 34% of the world’s soybean production.
  • At 42% market share, the US is the largest exporter of raw soybeans.

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