USDA looks for new ag customers as COVID puts trade missions on hold

Pandemic disruptions put some USDA trade missions on hold in 2020, but USDA and soybean leaders are working to to find new customers for American agriculture.

A global rise in protein demand feeds market opportunity for U.S. soy. USDA’s Ken Isley states, “Whenever you have growing economies you have a growing need for soybeans.”

According to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service, Africa’s growing middle class is on option. “We’ve got a lot of attention right now in Africa... expanding our presence there as Africa continues to grow in geo-political importance,” Isley adds.

The health conscious consumer could create another market for soybeans on foreign store shelves. “For soybeans you can look at food grade soy. You can look at identity preserve soy and other specialty products,” he states. “Healthy ag products like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and all will continue to grow, I’m sure.”

USDA’s Foreign Ag Service has 100 offices around the globe, to help soybean producers strengthen ties with top export customers. “They are working everyday on market access issues, on issues to clear shipments through customs, and on trade promotion, and data gathering and analysis,” according to Isley.

Soybean leaders look for new international markets.

Higher soybean exports predicted for 2021.

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