Content of the study:
The soybean market - Italy

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1.1 Definition and presentation

Soybean is a vegetable protein-rich legume that is used widely as a food for both humans and farm animals. In human nutrition it is often used as substitutes for meat, fish, cheese or eggs. The benefits of this food are to reduce constipation problems and normalize glycemic and cholesterol levels.

The main types of soybeans on the market are:

  • Soybeans Yellow: the most common one that is eaten in the form of burgers, tofu or sauces
  • Soybeans Black: used mainly in China
  • Soybeans Green: used for making soups, creams or sauces

As for the global soybean market, this had reached $125 110 million in the year 2020 and is expected to reach $164 940 million by the end of 2027 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 percent. The country producing and exporting the largest amount of soybeans is Brazil followed by the United States. In contrast, 30 percent of world soybean demand is required by the Chinese market.

Italy, compared to other European countries, leads in non-GMO soybean production. There has been a real boom in the sector in recent years: from the year 2018 to 2019 there has been a growth of 29% with a production increase of 50%. As reported by Istat data the hectares cultivated in Italy were 273 thousand with a production of over 1 million tons. In Italy the main region where soybeans are cultivated is Veneto with over 135 thousand hectares, followed by Friuli-Venezia Giulia with about 54 thousand hectares cultivated. This large use of soybeans is mainly due to the low production costs and high sales costs and to the fact that growing soybeans leads to disruption of the cereal succession and enrichment of the land.

1.2 World market

The world oilseeds market is a very dynamic market, as shown by the data in the graph below from the OECD and FAO Agricultural Outlook. From **** to ****, world soybean production is expected to increase by +**.* percent, cattle feed production by +**.* percent, and vegetable oil production by +**.* percent.

World oilseed production and ...

1.3 Domestic market and foreign trade

The Italian soybean market is largely dependent on imports of the product. In fact, as can be seen in the graph below, the country's trade balance is largely dominated by soybean imports: in **** Italy will import ****% more than it exports in soybeans. This does not mean that soybean crops do not ...


2.1 Soybeans in livestock feed

According to Greenpeace, ** % of soy used in Europe is for animal feed, including nearly ** % for poultry, ** % for pigs, ** % for dairy cows, and * % for cattle. Moreover,"to produce *** grams of chicken, *** grams of soy are needed," the NGO calculates.[***]

Distribution of animal consumption of soybeans Europe, ****, in % Source: ****

Aseed is a structure ...

2.2 Food consumption: consumers' spending habits are changing

Consumer habits have changed profoundly in recent years, and plant-based products play a key role in these changes. Indeed, more and more consumers have decided to turn to ***% plant-based products. if, especially in the early ****s, the consumption of these products was due to wanting to follow the "fashion" of the ...


3.1 Value chain

This is the value chain of soybeans, from harvest as seed to use as a processed product.

Source: ****

3.2 Soybean cultivation in Italy

The following data refer to soybean cultivation in Italy. We see in the graph below that harvested production in millions of quintals has remained abnormally stable from **** until now.

Harvested production of soybeans Italy, ****-****, million quintals Source: ****



*** of hectares



past ** years

Area invested in soybean ...

3.3 Italian soybean oil production

As mentioned above, the vast majority of soybeans are imported. On the other hand, the production of some soybean products can be found in the Prodcom database in Italy, including the following products:

******** Soy sauce ******** Oil cake and solid residues from soybean oil extraction ******** Refined soybean oil

The data for ...


4.1 Raw material prices

In the long run, the price of soybeans has remained fairly stable. In fact, between **** and ****, the price of a ton will cost on average between *** and *** euros .

Between July **** and April ****, however, the price of soybeans increased by ** %, as the chart below shows. The price of a ton of soybeans ...

4.2 Prices charged in the market

To analyze the products practiced in the market, we refer to soybean but also to soybean-derived products, namely:



5.1 The regulatory framework for soybean production

Codex Alimentarius was established by FAO and WHO for safety, quality and fair practices in international food trade. It characterizes plant protein materials and sets standards for protein content. It determines designations and also specifies rules for labeling. The percentage of protein content varies depending on whether it is in flours ...


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Note the recent but steady take-off of organic feed for farm animals, which is leading to a renewal of research and development in the sector

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The market for sports nutrition supplements - France

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