Soybean customers increasingly are choosing to import soybeans via containers to ensure certain quality criteria, such as protein, oil, grade, weight and moisture, according to a “Quality Analysis of Containerized Illinois Soybean Shipments” study conducted by Informa Economics and the Illinois Crop Improvement Association and sponsored by the Illinois Soybean Association.
The findings of the checkoff-funded study imply that containerized soybeans can reach smaller customers abroad quickly and with quality intact, as loading and unloading did not have an impact on quality.
Containers are an efficient and effective method to move soybeans to markets in Asia and Europe that cannot accept bulk shipments, said Ken Eriksen, senior vice president of Informa Economics, in a written statement.
He noted that showing that quality is preserved creates confidence on the receiver’s side that the product will meet grade and quality requirements for the customer’s end use, in turn allowing shippers to market higher quality and secure higher prices.
“End users, including the growing number of customers abroad who import containerized beans, determine price,” added Paul Rasmussen, soybean farmer and ISA’s director. “Delivering the highest quality we can to the elevator will increase our bottom lines.”
Container shipments currently comprise about 8 percent of the state’s soybean exports.