Soybean Aquaculture Market

Half of the global population relies on seafood daily as the primary source of animal protein. American soybean farmers are feeding fish around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia. High-quality soy protein is fed to farmed fish and shellfish to support their growth and healthy development.

Kirk Leeds is the CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association. He says in the livestock industry, the soy meal aquaculture market is growing faster than chickens, pigs, or cattle. The reason – seafood demand is higher than ever, but there aren’t enough fish in the sea.

"Soybean meal is replacing fish meal, fish meal is basically from trash fish, and as we fish the waters dry, if you will, we’re going to have to find new opportunities for that," he says. "I think most of the growth is going to continue to occur in Asia, where you’re going to see research dedicated to improving the efficiency of that production, so the growth opportunities are really quite impressive."

Leeds predicts the soymeal market for fish will grow 5%-10% globally over the next several years. China is the number one producer and consumer, but aquaculture is growing in other parts of the world as well.

"Places like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, we think there will be some investments in the Middle East. Egypt, for example, is investing a lot in aquaculture. I had the opportunity to tour an aquaculture farm in Norway on the salmon side, so it’s growing all over the world," he says. "It’s just going to get down to cost always, and the business climate or environmental climate that we’re going to have to deal with around the world."

Learn more about aquaculture and the soybean market