Soy cultivation in Europe is poised to break new ground

This growth is fueled by the compelling economic conditions surrounding soy prices, presenting a more profitable alternative compared to other crops, according to the latest Donau Soja market report.

Despite a 10-15% global market price decline over the past three months, EU non-GM prices have displayed resilience, holding steady. In mid-February, Bologna non-GM soybean prices dipped to €450/t, marking a modest 3% reduction from their recent peak in mid-December, reads that publication.

Ukrainian cultivation

Ukraine, a leading soy producer in Europe, is projected to witness a remarkable 21% increase in soy cultivation, reaching a record 2.2 million hectares in 2024, as per the country’s agricultural ministry. While a survey on farmers’ spring planting intentions underpins this forecast, APK Inform, a prominent agri-market research company in Ukraine, predicts a slightly more conservative growth rate. Their preliminary forecast suggests a potential 13-19% increase in soy planted areas, yielding 5.5-6 million tons under favorable weather conditions, found the Donau Soja outlook.

This year could mark the fourth consecutive expansion of soy cultivation in Ukraine, attributed to its superior profitability compared to other oilseeds and cereals. Factors such as dissatisfaction among farmers with sunflower prices and a reduction in rapeseed planting due to 2023’s autumn drought contribute to the surge in soy planting, reported the analysts.

EU farmers forecast to chose soy again

The EU’s soy area is projected to grow by 5-10%, reaching a record 1.1-1.2 million hectares in 2024. Producers across the bloc are expected to either stabilize or expand planting, primarily at the expense of corn. Encouraged by the high soy yield in 2023, some farmers are likely to choose soy again, as per the market review.