Soybean Farming in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Although US soybean farmers have experienced growth in the past five years, they've also faced and will continue to face pressure from international operators. With Brazil expected to overtake the United States as the top provider of soybeans, domestic operators will continue to fight for profitability and market share, while battling volatile planting conditions as well. Additionally, as more Americans steer clear of processed foods, the industry will rely on demand from sectors like alternative fuels. Continued biofuel demand will support a steady rise in soybean prices over the next five years. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Soybean Farming industry.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Strong growth through the recession will be hindered by competition in the coming years

US soybean farmers have generally been immune to the negative effects of the recession. Unlike most other industries that experienced steep declines in revenue, domestic and international demand for the Soybean Farming industry stayed strong in the five years to 2012. “The depreciating dollar, coupled with food demand from developing nations, has boosted exports, while the rapid expansion of biofuel production in the United States has spurred soybean farming revenue growth in four of the past five years,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Agiimaa Kruchkin. As a result, IBISWorld expects revenue to grow at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the five years to 2012. In 2012, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has lowered its forecast of soybean harvest yield per acre 18.0% due to an extensive drought. Nevertheless, the reduced supply will boost prices 8.0% - 20.0%. Therefore, an industry revenue increase of about 7.2% between 2011 and 2012 to $39.9 billion is expected by the end of the year.

Despite strong growth, the adoption of genetically modified (GM) seeds is reaching a saturation point, no longer a major source of yield improvement. “Additionally, the biofuels segment, which has rejuvenated the industry and continues to strengthen domestic demand, is stabilizing,” adds Kruchkin. “Consequently, growth rates are forecast to slightly weaken in the next five years.” A surge in South American inventory is responsible for the United States experiencing a steadily declining share of global exports. The 2012 drought has reduced the global supply of soybeans, with US exports expected to fall 6.8% for the year. This situation presents a threat to the industry as Argentina and Brazil boost their global presence in the soybean export market. The Soybean Farming industry is overwhelmingly characterized by family-held individual farms. In most cases, soybean producers operate as partnerships and sole proprietors rather than corporations. Despite some farm consolidations, the industry remains fragmented. There is a long-term trend toward fewer farms across the agricultural sector, and this applies to the Soybean Farming industry as well. This trend is a result of rising costs and competition that make it difficult for smaller farms to succeed.

During the next five years, soybeans are anticipated to maintain their position as the second-largest crop in the United States behind corn. The crop's primary uses (in livestock feeds, vegetable oils and biofuels) are unlikely to change, even in the medium- to long-term. Still, as a typical agricultural product, the Soybean Farming industry is heavily exposed to volatility from external factors, such as weather conditions, market prices and government subsidies. Consequently, profit margins may vary greatly from year to year. Despite this uncertainty, continued biofuel demand will support a steady rise in soybean prices. IBISWorld forecasts industry revenue to increase through. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Soybean Farming in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Farms in this industry grow soybeans as their main crop. Soybeans are most often used in livestock feeds and vegetable oils with a small but growing proportion being used in biofuel production. Establishments that sell soybean seeds to US farmers for growing crops are also included.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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