Soybean Meal Import Grows 12% in Thailand


Jul 26, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s Soybean Meal production is the byproduct of cooking oil extraction using mostly imported Soybeans due to limited supplies of domestic Soybean production. Locally produced Soybean Meal is reportedly more premium than imported Soybean Meal due to more excellent freshness with higher quality standards. Feed mills usually pay 1-2 percent higher for local Soybean Meal. However, prices of locally produced Soybean Meal in 2022 and the first two months of 2023 were respectively 7 percent and 5 percent higher than imported Soybean Meal due to the disadvantage of imported Soybean Meal from high freight costs. Post forecasts locally produced Soybean Meal to increase around 5 percent in MY2023/24 due to increased cooking oil production and growing demand for Soybean Meal in livestock feed, especially for broiler and swine production, which is recovering from the ASF outbreak.

MY2022/23 Soybean Meal production is expected to decline to 2.2 million metric tons in Thailand. This is a 6 percent reduction from MY2021/22 due to reduced cooking oil production. In the first five months of MY2022/23, Soybean oil production declined 24 percent from last year. Consumers shifted to relatively cheaper palm oil when palm oil prices fell to normal. MY2021/22 Soybean Meal production increased around 3 percent from MY2020/21. This is well above the slow economic recovery of 1.6 percent in 2021 and 2.6 percent in 2022 due to strong domestic demand for Soybean cooking oil to substitute for palm oil, while palm oil prices were under upward pressure in MY2021/22 due to global tight supplies caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Soybean Meal is mainly used for livestock feed, with a small portion used for Soybean sauce and curd production. Post forecasts MY2023/24 Soybean Meal consumption to increase 4 percent from MY2022/23 in line with continued growing poultry production and anticipated full recovery in swine production from the ASF outbreak. This is driven by strong domestic demand for chicken and pork meat following the growing local economy from the recovery in the hotel and service sector, as foreign tourists are likely to increase to normal levels prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

MY2022/23 Soybean Meal consumption is expected to decline 4 percent from the unusually high levels in MY2021/22 despite growing poultry and anticipated recovery in swine production. Poultry and swine farmers will likely use full-fat Soybeans in their feed rations as average import prices of full-fat Soybean leveled off in the first half of MY2022/23 after a surge of 25 percent in MY2021/22. The Thai Feed Mill Association expected total feed demand to increase by 5 percent in 2023, mainly driven by increased swine feed demand in 2023 by 15 percent from the ASF-triggered reduction in swine feed demand by 20 percent in 2022.

Soybean Meal Import in Thailand

Imported Soybean Meal is mainly used for feed in Thailand. Post forecast MY2023/24 Soybean Meal imports to rebound to 2.7 million metric tons. This is a 12 percent increase from a 22 percent reduction in MY2022/23, in line with continued growing poultry production and anticipated recovery in swine production. Also, Soybean crushers are expected to have average carry-over stocks of Soybean Meal following regular market demand for Soybean and Palm oil.

According to AgFlow data, Thailand imported 320,000 tons of Soybean from Brazil in June 2023, followed by the US (8,106 tons). Thailand’s MY2022/23 Soybean Meal imports are expected to decline to 2.4 million metric tons, down 22 percent from MY2021/22. Soybean Meal import demand in the first five months of MY2022/23 fell around 10 percent from last year due to available supplies of locally produced Soybean Meals. Soybean crushers had large carry-over stocks of Soybean Meals in MY2021/22, which increased 20 percent from the previous year, following strong demand for Soybean oil. Increased domestic production of cooking oil created larger supplies of domestically produced Soybean Meal.

Other sources: USDA

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