Soy Exports Add Billions to the U.S. Economy

America’s soy complex exports added $39.8 billion to the U.S. economy in marketing year 2022-2023 on a volume of 67.6 million metric tons. The shining star was U.S. soybean meal exports broke records for both volume and value at 13.2 million metric tons and $6.91 billion, respectively.

Increased demand from both Colombia and Ecuador boosted U.S. soybean meal exports by 15 percent and 36 percent, respectively, above their five-year averages. Meanwhile, increased volume and higher prices saw U.S. soybean meal exports increase in value by 39 percent over the last five years. Despite persistent global challenges to international businesses, U.S. whole soybean exports hit 54.2 MMT and kept pace with the previous five-year average.

“America’s soy exports in marketing year 2022-2023 were nothing short of extraordinary,” says United Soybean Board Chair Steven Reinhard. “A standout achievement was the record-breaking performance of soybean meal exports, reaching unprecedented volume and value levels.”

USDA data shows the U.S. soybean crush rose month-to-month but missed expectations. Processors crushed 204 million bushels of soybeans in December, up from 200 million a month earlier. The agency’s report says that’s up from the 187 million bushels processed in December 2022 but is still down from the 206 million forecast before the report went public.

Crude oil produced from the crush rose to 2.38 billion pounds, up two percent from November and eight percent from the same month a year earlier.

Iowa was by far the biggest crusher of soybeans at approximately 49.3 million bushels, with Illinois second at 25.4 million bushels. The states combined for 37 percent of the soybeans crushed in the U.S. during December. About 51.4 million bushels were crushed in the north and east region, which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Processors in the north-central region crushed 37 million bushels of soybeans.