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Protein and Oil Patterns in U.S. and World Soybean Markets

Charles R. Hurburgh, Jr., Thomas J. Brumm,
James M. Guinn and Randy A. Hartwig


The Japan Oilseed Processors Association provided yearly data showing the average protein and oil content of imported soybeans from the U.S. (No. 2 Yellow and IOM grades), Brazil, Argentina, and the People’s Republic of China. Throughout the years 1972-1988, U.S. No. 2 soybeans contained about 1-1.5% less oil than Brazilian soybeans. Recently, the protein content of U.S. soybeans has also fallen behind that of Brazil. U.S. IOM soybeans, a designation based on seed size, contained about 1.5% more protein and about 0.5% less oil than U.S. No. 2 soybeans. Surveys of U.S. soybeans in the years 1986, 1987, and 1988 showed consistent state and regional differences in protein and oil content. Soybeans from northern and western soybean-growing states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin) contained 1.5-2% less protein and 0.2-0.5% more oil than soybeans from southern states (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina). State and regional differences in composition represented differences of up to 25 cents per bushel in Estimated Processed Value for one set of soybean meal and oil prices. Keywords. Composition, oil, protein, soybeans.