Soybeans Outlook Relies On China’s Ravenous Appetite

April 27, 2015



Of the edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S., it is estimated that at least 80 percent comes from soybeans. These include:

  • Cooking oil
  • Margarine
  • Salad dressings
  • Shortening


Its industrial uses include:

  • Caulking compounds
  • Industrial paints
  • Linoleum
  • Printing inks
  • Varnishes


Factors Affecting The Soybean Market

The soybean market is nothing if not complex on many—often intersecting—levels. As with both wheat and corn (see Wheat’s Dilemma: Bumper Harvests Meet Waning Demand and With Corn Swimming In Supply, A Difficult Market Gets No Relief), politics can also play an important role in the fortunes of soybeans, from Argentina to China.

In these two countries, the particular issue is yearly ending stocks, i.e., unused soybeans, and their levels. While in the U.S. and Brazil, these levels have dropped, in China and Argentina, they have risen. And since 2000, China’s share of such stocks has increased around 1 percent a year.


Share of World Ending Stocks: 2000-2004 vs 2010-2014

Ending Stocks

Source: Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign



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