Friday, June 21, 2013

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Study: Soybeans maintain quality in containers

Soybean customers are increasingly choosing to import soybeans via containers to take advantage of specific characteristics, such as high protein, oil or grade factor. 

A recent study sponsored by the Illinois Soybean Association confirms the quality of soybeans transported by containers does not depreciate between loading and unloading.

This could impact the returns of Illinois soybean farmer, according to Ken Eriksen, senior vice president of Informa Economics, the firm that conducted the study, "Quality Analysis of Containerized Illinois Soybean Shipments," in partnership with the Illinois Crop Improvement Association.  Results indicate containerized soybeans can reach smaller customers abroad quickly and with quality intact.

"Showing that quality is preserved creates confidence on the receiver's side that the product will meet grade and quality for the customer's end use," says Eriksen.  "This allows shippers to market higher quality and secure higher prices, which will trickle down to the farmer."

Currently, container shipments make up about eight percent of Illinois soybean exports. Containers are an efficient and effective method to move soybeans to markets in Asia and Europe that cannot accept bulk shipments, which helps improve profitability for Illinois soybean farmers, he says.

Study researchers measured 20 quality variables at the origin and destination for eight shipments of Illinois soybeans to Asia.  Factors such as protein and oil, grade, weight and moisture were measured at origin and destination.  While differences were recorded, researchers conclude quality is largely maintained during containerized transit.
A quality analysis study for non-containerized shipments has not yet been conducted.

"With a unique combination of high-quality soybeans and world-class logistics infrastructure, Illinois soybean farmers are positioned to capitalize on containerized exports," says Paul Rasmussen, ISA director and soybean farmer.

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