Organic soybean demand relies heavily on imports
A commodities trader says the U.S. organic soybean demand is relying on more imports.
Ryan Dornink with All-Star Trading in Schaumburg, Illinois tells Brownfield the organic soybean import market fell off for a while in the U.S. during the pandemic, bringing increased domestic prices for organic beans but, “Over the past year or so, we’re starting to see more and more imports at a little bit cheaper numbers so it seems like the soybean markets is starting to fall off from where it was.”
Dornink says last summer’s forward contracts were setting some record numbers for organic soybeans, but not anymore. “Contracting for new crop last summer was anywhere from 34-38 a bushel it seemed like, and probably down to more of the 23-26 range now, so we’ve seen a significant drop off in the summer which is being pushed by imported product coming into the country.”
And even with lower prices, Dornink encourages growers to consider the switch to organic soybeans because the demand is there. “We’re pretty reliant on imports and yeah, not necessarily because of pricing. It just doesn’t seem like there are quite enough (organic) soybeans grown here to meet the country’s meal needs.”
Dornink says there has been volatility in the organic soybean market similar to the other commodities, and he believes that’s why many farmers are holding off on switching to organic. Most farms must also use organic practices for three years before they can become certified as organic.
Dornink spoke to Brownfield during the recent Marbleseed Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin.