Opinion: A fish story that connects trade and development

U.S. soy farmers know that investment in developing economies today builds U.S. soy’s customers for tomorrow. In the simplest terms, children in Pakistan and elsewhere require nutrients to learn and grow, and people of all ages need sustained access to affordable, nutritious food to contribute productively to local and global communities.

Well, to meet increasing demand, U.S. soybeans are currently being imported into Pakistan at record high rates (1,725,360 MT in market year 2018 up from zero in 2011). Soy is crushed locally, which adds value to the product in Pakistan. Soybean crushers’ largest customers are the Pakistani poultry (90%) and livestock feed industries (10%), with feed for aquaculture emerging as a new market at < 1% of total animal feed consumption.

Rising incomes in developing economies have increased demand for animal source protein and plant-based, protein-rich diets, generating opportunity for U.S. soy trade. Commercial food and feed processing sectors often rely on imported soy protein to complement locally available ingredients in order to fill widening protein gaps that can often only be closed by international trade. Consistent soybean supply in many emerging markets plays a critical role in resilient aquaculture, poultry and livestock sector growth, and U.S. soy fills supply gaps where they exist.

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