Global soybean demand to soar 60% by 2020, South America to provide mostof new supply- new report says9/7/2004 LLOYDS LIST - DRIVEN by the removal of trade barriers,population growth, and rising per capita income in emerging economies,global demand for soybeans is projected to soar by 60% and reach 303m tonsby 2020, with South American producers to account for the bulk of the newsupplies, according to a just-released report by an internationalenvironment group, writes John Zarocostas in Geneva.
Of the estimated growth in production of around 110m tons, more than 80mtons, is expected to be provided mainly by Brazil, Argentina, and to asmaller extent by Bolivia and Paraguay said consultant Jan Maarten Dros,who authored the WWF International commissioned study 'Managing the SoyBoom.'
Brazil, the biggest supplier to the European Union, is ranked the world'ssecond largest exporter of soy products after the US. Argentina is thethird largest exporter.
The EU and China, the world's largest soy import markets, will continue tobe the driving force and by 2020 are forecast to import more than 40m tonsof soy products annually, respectively, says the report.
About four fifth's of global soybeans production is crushed to yield soymeal, which is used as animal feed, and most of the rest to produce soyoil.
In 2003, the EU imported 36.9m tons of soybeans and meal, while Chinaimported 19.4m tons, of which 18m tons was soybeans and 1.4m tons soy oil,it said.
Other major import markets for soybeans and meal are Japan, Mexico,Taiwan, Indonesia, and South Korea and Iran, Bangladesh, Russia and Egyptfor soy oil.
But the soy expansion warns WWF threatens to destroy millions of hectaresof pristine forests and Savannah's in South America.
'Soy can be both a blessing and a curse,' said Leonardo Lacerda, managerfor WWF's protected areas initiative.
WWF warns that unless production policies are radically changed in SouthAmerican countries up to 6m ha of tropical forests and 16m ha ofSavannah's in the region are threatened with destruction.
Rapid expansion of soy production is also causing erosion, water pollutionand health problems, the WWF report adds.
A successful implementation of better land use, says WWF, 'requires aparadigm shift'.
WWF has launched an intensive lobbying campaign with governments,regulators, major producers, commodity traders, food retail chains, andconsumers, to support a switch in policies.