U.S. farmers exported a record 1.1 billion bushels of soybeans for the marketing year that ended Aug. 31. That exceeds the previous bean export record by nearly 90 million bushels.

Argentina and Brazil have a combined 49% of the global export market for soy compared to the U.S.'s 33%. In 2003, the two countries are expected to produce more than 3 billion bushels of soybeans, surpassing the U.S. in bean production for the first time.

China remained the top importer of U.S. soybeans with 168 million bushels despite biotechnology regulations that caused a 20% drop in U.S. exports to the country. Brazil and Argentine exports to China were hit harder; the first half of this year their exports declined 36% and 47%, respectively.