Every year, about this time, I sit down with Jim Sutter the CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), and discuss the goals they have for the year. 2020 was still a good year for exports, despite the pandemic. Sutter is optimistic that 2021 can be an exceptional year as well.
Audio: Full Interview with USSEC CEO Jim Sutter
Despite the challenges posed in the past year, Sutter talks about the increase we have witnessed in soybean demand. While the fears were centered on possible demand destruction, it really never happened. This is because people are still eating. Getting China back as a large purchaser of soybeans also went a long way.
Sutter recalled just two years ago when we were trying to find ways to “move the pile.” Record numbers of soybean carryouts were sending the USSEC into a scramble to help find avenues in moving our supplies. Now as the pile has moved, the soybean complex is in a good place as far as the demand side goes.
Sutter says we have witnessed a lot of export growth. Even though it seems like China is talked about a nauseum, it really has been a large impact on the export market. Sutter talks about the impact China has had.
Outside of China, Sutter talks about the growth we have seen in other places like Egypt. Egypt is becoming our number three customer. This is due to increases in their poultry and aquaculture industries.
Sutter is also pleased with the continued growth they are seeing in southeast Asia.
Sutter rounds out the discussion by talking about where we have seen other good gains in soy exports. New and current markets are all increasing demand for our products.
With the calls of increased acres and tight carryout, Sutter looks at the plans the USSEC has for 2021.
There is a lot of demand around the world for soy, and the U.S. is poised to serve a lot of that demand. What we need now is very few curveballs from Mother Nature and a strong crop in 2021.