Nutritional and economic differences in soybean meal from different countries

A new meta-analysis compares commercial soybean meals produced from different countries and reports the U.S. soybean meal quality advantage and economic benefits.

Nutritional and economic differences in soybean meal from different countries
July 7, 2020

A new meta-analytical study entitled “Chemical composition, protein quality and nutritive value of commercial soybean meals produced from beans from different countries” reports that not all soybean meals are created equal and that meal from different countries of origin should be treated individually when formulating animal diets. The data from this study were processed by the Nutrient Value Calculator (NVC), a software tool constructed by Genesis Feed Technologies, a company built to bring visibility into feed costs. This cost analysis supported the economic benefits of U.S. soybean meal relative to meal from other origins as a key ingredient in poultry rations.

Gonzalo Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madrid in Spain and study co-author, first presented findings from the meta-analysis at the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s (USSEC) Asia Trade Exchange to 850 U.S. soy customers and soybean industry representatives. “This pioneering compilation of research is the most comprehensive quality review of soybean meal that has ever been conducted, and it gives customers greater clarity around soybean meal quality from different countries of origin,” USSEC said. The meta-analysis looked at 18 different studies and 1,944 samples to quantify the relationship between the country of origin of the bean and the chemical composition and nutritive value of the soybean meal. Soybeans from the following origins were analyzed: Argentina (ARG), Brazil (BRA), USA (USA) and India (IND).

“One of the main points from the study is that customers should be using different matrices for the evaluation of the nutritional value of soybean meals of different origins,” said Mateos. “If they buy only based on protein or vegetable sucrose content, they may buy a product that is lower quality. Therefore, it is important to check all of the values that are related to the nutritive value of the soybean meal before making purchase decisions, which this study addresses.”



The data in this meta-analysis forms a new key pillar of the economic evaluation of soybean meal in global markets. Using the Nutrient Value Calculator from Genesis Feed Technologies, the economic value of U.S. soybean meal can be evaluated in global markets using formulas representative of the regional feed manufacturers. Nutrient values and prices of all the other components of the diet are also used in this calculation.

When comparing cost reductions with the incorporation of data from the aforementioned meta-analytical study, premiums of U.S. soybean meal range from $14.57 to $23.24 per ton over Argentine soybean meal and range from $2.48 to $10.26 per ton over Brazilian soybean meal.

“U.S. soy and soybean meal products offer a price advantage and rank first on a number of important nutritional attributes when compared to other origins, including remarkable amino acid and energy profiles,” said Paul Burke, USSEC’s senior director for U.S. Soy Marketing. “This will continue to ensure we deliver a valuable, consistent and more economical product that our customers can count on.”

Soybean meal is an important source of protein for the global feed industry, where it is used in livestock, poultry and aquaculture diets. To meet this demand for animal feed, the farmers that grow sustainable U.S. soy not only care about being a reliable supplier but take pride in providing a high-quality product to their international customers.

“The world’s need for a high-quality protein product like U.S. soybean meal will be critical as our population continues to grow. And U.S. farmers around the country are ready and willing to meet that need,” said Monte Peterson, chairman of USSEC, board member of the American Soybean Association and soybean farmer in Valley City, N.D. “Our soybean farmers provide a consistent, nutritious and efficient source of protein for both the food and feed sectors. This meta-analysis is important because it shows how U.S. soy is the most high-quality and best economic choice, backed by science.”

Download the study here. Watch also the USSEC’s recorded webinar with Gonzalo Mateos and Genesis Feed Technologies.