Ghana: Soybeans Tap on Niche Markets in Turkey and China


Jun 26, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

Soybean is a non-staple crop in Ghana and is predominantly used as livestock feed. As such, Soybean production (mainly commercial) is relatively new in Ghana and is concentrated in the northern part of the country. In Ghana, smallholder farmers primarily grow Soybean, and the average farm size is less than one hectare. There have been sustained increases in production lately due to growth in demand, especially from the domestic food manufacturing, poultry, and aquaculture industries, as well as the export market.

MY2023/24 Soybean production has been forecast at 260,000 MT by Post, up by about two percent from the MY2022/23 estimate of 255,000 MT. The increase will be in response to the growing domestic and export demands. Post forecasts area planted and harvested in MY2023/24 at 145,000HA, up by two percent from the MY2022/23 estimate of 142,000 HA.

Industry players identify thirteen processing companies as large-scale, with a combined installed grain processing capacity of about 172,000 MT per year. However, actual production by these companies is about 72,000 MT per year, less than 50 percent of their installed capacity. Some micro (household), small, and medium-scale enterprises also process Soybeans and have a combined installed production capacity of about 180,000 MT per year. However, these processors’ combined annual production is also less than 50 percent of their total installed capacity.

MY2023/24 total domestic consumption demand for Soybean is forecast at 215,000MT, up by 10 percent from the MY2022/23 estimate (195,000MT) mainly due to expected increased demand from food use domestic consumption, food manufacturing sector, the aquaculture industries, and increased demand from the poultry industry. Total food uses domestic consumption is forecast at 30,000 MT in MY2023/24, up by 20 percent from the preceding year’s estimate, mainly due to the expected increase in demand for an affordable source of protein.

Households, especially those that own Soybean farms and micro-enterprises that source locally, process Soybean into various products like soymilk, soy flour, and soy kebab for human consumption. However, all 13 major Soybean processors operate under capacity due to insufficient grain supply, as domestically produced grain constitutes less than 70% of the total local processing capacity.

Soybean grains are usually sold in sacks of 50 kg and 100 kg. In February 2023, the price of locally produced Soybean averaged GHȼ8,000.00 ($683.76)/ton at an exchange rate of $1.00=GHȼ11.70). The current demand for domestically produced Soybean remains high.

Ghana’s Soybean Trade

MY2023/24 Soybean imports are forecast at 2,000MT, double the estimated volume for MY2022/23. The unfavorable tariff arrangement at the ports pertaining to Soybean import duty is mainly responsible for recent years’ reduced imports. Soybean imports attract a 10 percent duty on the shipment’s Cost, Insurance, and Freight value.

Post forecasts MY2023/24 Soybean exports at 30,000MT, unchanged from the MY2022/23 estimate. Sustained exports of locally produced Soybean to niche markets in Turkey and China that prefer non-GE Soybeans has been observed since 2018. Post expects exports to continue despite the GOG’s imposed restriction yet to be lifted. It is reported that some Indian aggregators who used to buy cashew nuts for export have switched to Soybean exports.

Some Chinese and Turkish nationals are also said to be involved in exporting locally produced Soybean. To be assured of sustained supply to meet the growing demand from the Turkish market, an export company has arranged with a nucleus farmer in Tamale to rally several Soybean farmers to guarantee supply over an agreed period of years.

Post forecasts Ghana’s MY2023/24 Soybean ending stocks at 55,000 MT, up 22 percent from the MY2022/23 estimate, as industry players are expected to build inventories.

Other sources: USDA

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