The soya is an Asian plant of the fabaceae family, widely used in the food industry but also used for its medicinal properties. Cultivated for its seeds rich in proteins and oil, soya is intended for the food and feed . The use of soybeans for human consumption is concentrated around the production of tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, nattö and tempeh. Soya is also used for industrial purposes and for the production of biodiesel and bio-fuels. After palm oil, soybean oil is the second most consumed vegetable oil in the world.
The world soybean market represented a production of several hundred million tons with ever-increasing trade ( 751% increase of world soybean production over the past 50 years). According to Greenpeace, between 70% and 90% of the world's soybean production is used to produce soybean oilcake for the animal feedingstuffs the China being the leading consumer of soybeans for its various farms.
The world soybean market is dominated by the giants of the grain trade, leaving little room for new entrants. In order to maintain their margins, soybean market players are relying on the quality upgrading through, in particular, the production of a local non-GMO soybean.
However, the soybean market is faced with international competition This is due to the presence of emerging economies in this segment, notably Brazil, whose exports are increasing every year, Argentina, but also the United States, the world's leading producer
In 2020, the price of soybeans has experienced an increase for an agricultural product. Factors include massive Chinese imports in the aftermath of the first wave of covid-19 in order to rebuild its pig herd, which was largely affected by African Swine Fever in 2018-2019, but also unfavourable weather conditions for the soybean harvest in South America
France is largely dependent on American soybeans In the case of the United States, its domestic production does not meet the scale of its demand. And, while France has banned the production of GMOs for commercial purposes since 2008, imported soybeans are from soy-GMO ...which is used to feed cattle, then consumed by the French. Although local production is increasing on this market, France cannot achieve independence from this raw material. Thus the question of soybean imports remains a subject for discussion controversial
Thanks to its nutritional richness, soy can be consumed as a substitute for meat or animal proteins, which attracts the players in the organic consumption and healthy in the soybean market. The rate of growth of food products based on soya has been around 15% per year since 2000. In addition, 60% of French people have declared having consumed soy-based products in 2017.
The players in this market are of different sizes and natures. Firstly, French or foreign soybean farmers, then soybean oil cake and soybean oil producers (such as Huilerie Gid, but also Avril and Euralis, which are joining forces in 2017). Then there are the companies that create biofuel from soya, such as Total, but also the companies that are trying to integrate soya-derived products into the French diet. (such as Bjorg et compagnie, Triballat Noyal, etc)
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