Drought Slashes Soybean Production in Australia, Making Companies Look Elsewhere

Australia’s cataclysmic drought is forcing soya- based products companies to rely on scantily available soya now produced in the country and import to meet the growing demand from overseas.

Severe Drought has slashed domestic soybean production in Australia, bringing down the production to half of when produced in good days. To top that production of organic soybean, the choicest health food for a majority of Australians today, has dropped so low, that for the first time in years, it has to be imported from overseas.

Plant based, organic food production and consumption has seen a steady rise in the country, with soybean touted as the next best thing for healthy substitutes. Often being termed most popular alternative to dairy and energy drinks, in their available beverage variety. But now due to the increasing demand and the seriously short supply that is unable to meet it, the prices have skyrocketed. The prices in Queensland for instance, sit at $1,500 to $1,600 a ton, when compared to $400/ $500 through the last 3 seasons.

Local distribution has taken a beating. The Australian Oilseeds Federation said domestic soybean processors were competing fiercely for the limited crop. “We’re a relatively small producer in global terms, but when it comes to our local industries that depend on Australian soybeans, they’re really been hit hard by the shortages. The drought has knocked us around a fair bit.” said chief executive Nick Goddard.

The demand, however has to be met and this means, soya- based products companies are now looking outward to fill the gap. Figures from the Department of Agriculture showed it has issued eights permits for soybean imports in 2019 alone, compared with just three in 2018, and three in 2017.