Impact of new hybrid soybeans on the Chinese industry 10-22-2019

Soybean is an important agriculture crop that is widely used in many industries such as animal feed, functional food, beverages, dietary supplement and oil industries. They are excellent nutritional staples; they are not consumed raw due to their hard texture and undesirable flavor. The market for soybean is a growing market worldwide and was valued at USD 88.2 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2 % in the next five years.

China is the largest consumer of soybean in the world and most of the soybean imported or produced domestically is consumed by animal feed or human food industry. Although China used to be the leading producer of soybean this changed in 1996 when the domestic production volume decreased drastically and China started imported soybeans. Today, China is the largest importer of soybean and imported about 84.9million tons in 2019. However, due to the trade dispute and drought conditions in major exporting countries, and the decrease in demand in feed additive industry due to epidemics, the Chinese authorities decided to lower their imports and increase domestic production.

In this regard, the researchers at the Northern Institute of Geography and Archaeology in Changchun created a hybrid soybean called Henong-71, whose seed produces nearly four times the average yield for the plants in China. This specific species of soybean could help the country in getting around the higher cost of importing them specifically during drought conditions and trade wars. The trails of the Henong-71 have achieved a record yield as the species grew extra pods and were more resistant to harsh weather. As planting genetically modified crops are illegal in China, the researchers had to find alternative ways to increase yield and reduced cost.

With the cultivation of hybrid seed, not only the imports of soybean will be reduced but the animal feed and human nutrition market will also benefit as the supply of soybean will be unlimited and at a lower cost. Moreover, with greater domestic production, the dependency on importers will be diminished.

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