The price of soy ingredients could ease in the next twelve months for manufacturers and processors as the US government predicts farmers, on the back of rising soybean prices, will plant more soybeans for the 2004-05 marketing year.
Soybean planting for 2004-05 is expected to reach the record level of 30.1 million hectares, up from last year's 29.7 million hectares because farmers are expecting strong prices to continue, the US department of agriculture said this week.
"With relatively high soybean prices heading into planting season, prospects appear good for increased soybean planting in 2004," added the USDA.
Companies supplying soy derived ingredients are enjoying a buoyant market as consumer demand for soy-based products keeps on rising in parallel to an increased awareness of the potential health benefits that soybeans, and their derivatives, can hold.
Market analysts The Freedonia group predict that by 2007 US demand for soy products will rise by nearly five per cent each year to €6.7billion ($8.5 bn).
Such demand has already triggered the launch of a number of new soy ingredients onto the marketplace. US soy giant ADM recently unveiled Nutrisoy whole bean powder while compatriot Cargill Health & Food Technologies introduced a soy isoflavone ingredient - AdvantaSoy Compress - developed specifically for the dietary supplement industry.
In Europe soyfood sales are currently soaring with consumption of soya-based drinks and desserts up by over 20 per cent in 2002, valued at €1.3 billion ($1.6mn), say authors Prosoy.