Organic soy market facing record imports & major price swings

An ag economist says the organic soy market has developed a mind of its own with a rapid increase in organic soy prices and imports at the same time domestic supplies are stable.

“We really can’t point a finger specifically to what it is.”

Ryan Koory with Mercaris tells Brownfield for March, organic soybeans have been priced from $22-$29 per bushel, with the highest prices in the spot market.

“I’ve heard organic soybean meal quoted at $1,300 a short ton which is substantially higher than what we’ve seen in the past,” he explains.

That is almost double what imports during February were priced at from India, the largest U.S. supplier.

Koory says the first seven months of the organic soybean meal marketing year have also had phenomenal imports.

“We’ve actually increased organic soybean meal imports by 73 percent,” he says.

For the first quarter of this year, he says imports have had month after month records. At the same time, organic whole soybean imports were down more than 50 percent on the year.

Domestic supplies Koory says remain robust, up about 16 percent from 2020.

In January, the U.S. announced it’s ending an equivalency agreement with India which Koory says might be leading to stock piling by purchasers concerned about future tight supplies.

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