The U.S. ag attache in Taiwan says the country's demand for soybeans is likely to decline in 2011-12 due to reduced livestock production following outbreaks of avaian influenza and foot and mouth disease. The attache lowed its forecast for 2011-12 imports by 88,000 tons to 2.212 million metric tons (MMT), but sees an expected recovery in the livestock sector should result in a recovery to around 2.4 MMT in 2012-13.
In recent years, the attache says U.S. soybeans have faced stronger competition from South American soybeans. "Taiwan crushers have indicated that South American beans are not only price-competitive but even superior in terms of oil and protein content," says the attache. "Despite this challenge, the United States is expected to retain its leading position in the Taiwan soybean market, albeit at lower levels. Increasing attention to quality, year-round shipping availability, reliability of U.S. supplies, and the advantage of shipping from the U.S. via backhaul containers are all factors that favor imports of U.S. soybeans."
The attache says domestic food manufacturers also prefer U.S. origin screened beans for their food processing lines.