Behind the Scenes

On the road with Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson checks in with the latest from what we are calling his big soybean road trip:

Day 2 of the USB See for Yourself started with reports from USB personnel on new uses, domestic marketing and international marketing of soybeans and soy products. So far this year, soybean exports are up 10 percent and soymeal exports are up 8 percent. Paul Burke with the U.S. Soybean Export Council says he expects the rest of the year to be strong, and it looks like the first half of 2010 should be very good as well. China is the driving force in soy exports, and a growing aquaculture industry is helping drive that growth.

Back in the U.S., transfat issues have hurt demand for soybean oil in recent years, but help is on the way. Mark Winkel of USB says as soybeans with increased oleic, stearic acid and omega 3 are released over the next five years, he expects soybean oil to recapture lost market share-and then some.

In the afternoon Tuesday, we learned more about the state of soy ink. We visited the printing plant of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has been printed with soy ink for many years. We also visited on the top ink suppliers in the country, INX International. Well over 20 years ago, soy ink was one of the original “new uses” for soybeans. Today, there’s both good news and bad news for soy ink. The bad news-as circulation of newspapers and magazines continues to decline, so does their usage of soy ink. The good news-the green movement that has swept the U.S. in recent years has more of the large independent printing shops asking for soy-based ink.

This morning, Wednesday, we’re at the St. Louis airport preparing for our trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. More later.

Ken Anderson

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