EU imports 12% more soybeans in 2018/19 - second largest importer in the world

European countries, and especially the Netherlands, have recently imported large quantities of US soybeans. Between April and June, the US exported 1.25 million tonnes of soybeans to the European Union. This is twice as much as in the same period last year and the largest amount for this three month in the last 32 years.
The market for soybeans caught up again last month when US and EU politicians declared that the EU would import more US beans. Many traders in the EU corrected these statements, saying that the excesses were due to low prices and had nothing to do with politics.
There is no doubt about the motives of the importers in Holland. The USDA estimates that EU countries will import 15.8 million tonnes of soybeans during the 2018/19 season. This is 12% more than last year - and the Netherlands plays the biggest role.
According to the USDA report, the Netherlands was already the world's second largest importer of soybeans and soybean derivatives in 2016, with China in first place. The EU received 4.4 million tonnes of soybeans and 3.1 million tonnes of soybean meal. Of that, 40% was consumed in the country.
The Dutch livestock is the largest consumer. In 2016, Holland ranked first in the world in the export of eggs and egg products, third in dairy and dairy products, fifth in beef and sixth in pork. All these exports together had a value of just under € 14 billion.
The Dutch port of Rotterdam has very good facilities for unloading and transporting soybeans. In 2012, Rotterdam was the sixth largest port in the world in terms of tonnage handled. The rest of the top 10 list were ports in Asia, seven of them in China.
The location of Rotterdam is strategically extremely favorable, as it flows into the deep-sea port of the Rhine, which flows through Germany and also connects Eastern and Western Europe.

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