Soybeans have been one of the main crops for sale in the EU for several decades.
Useful oil is obtained from it, used as food for animals (thanks to this, animals gain weight faster) and fuel. Soybeans, especially those produced without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), have a separate purchase value.
Consumers are increasingly paying attention to this factor, and choose organically grown crop products. In this regard, they began to grow soybeans using new technologies that make the final product more useful.
Europe’s place in the global soybean market
It is known that Europe is one of the main buyers of Ukrainian soybeans, since the EU countries are 98% dependent on the import of this plant and vegetable protein. At the same time, the main demand for this culture is demonstrated by the countries of Western Europe. For the EU, it is Ukraine that is the first supplier of soybeans, and even with a halving of imports by 2025, Ukrainian soybeans will still be in demand in this market. But what is the situation within the EU countries for the cultivation of this product?
There are not so many own sown areas in the EU for this crop, and they are mainly sown with other crops. The authorities of European countries have repeatedly recognized the fact that to provide the EU with soybeans, rather large areas are needed, which are simply not available in most countries. Therefore, Europe is dependent on supplies of soybeans from other countries, for example, Ukraine, Brazil and the United States – according to statistics, up to 33 million tons of soybeans are supplied from these countries annually. At the same time, the Federation of Farmers Associations separately emphasizes the importance of purchasing soybeans grown without the use of GMOs.
Taking into account the growing eco-trend, not only purchases of organic soybeans are popular in the world, but also the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In this regard, Europe is thinking about reducing the import of this plant from other countries, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 77%. That is why soybeans, which have not been imported from afar, remain the most popular product for the consumer. In addition, the trend towards organic products is forcing the EU to pay attention to products grown in India and China, as Ukrainian producers are more likely to grow GM soybeans that are resistant to glyphosate, which can be a human carcinogen. Therefore, it is important for Ukrainian producers to pay attention to other varieties of this plant, which may be in demand on the European market, taking into account existing requirements.
What are the characteristics of determining GM and non-GM products? The product can undergo an express check (the level of contamination should not exceed 0.1%), during which the leaves and beans are checked, and the results are recorded in the relevant documents.
Experts predict that, taking into account the number of sown areas, Ukraine should take first place in the supply of this product for the European market.
It is important that rapeseed oil is very popular in the EU countries – it is often used as a healthy alternative to other vegetable oils. This product is not only purchased ready-made, but also made directly at factories in Europe, buying raw materials from other countries. This allows Ukrainian farmers not to worry about the marketing opportunities for this crop, since they will gladly buy it even as a plant.