Chinese Soybean Production, Consumption
China soybean production is slowing down, but it is still currently the fourth largest producer in the world. And it is a highly emotional issue here. China doesn’t want to lose its soy industry because it is the sole supply of food-grade soybeans that they eat. Case in point, in 1993, soy food consumption was about 5 mmt, and now it’s around 12 mmt. And as diets improve here, this continues to be a growing market. The Chinese consume both more meat protein and more soy foods.
Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese consumption is all flat, but China is growing. Soy food products are a staple eaten every day. Soy milk, for example, is consumed by vast amounts of people every morning. Lunch and dinner you've got tofu in the dishes, with soy sauce, and soy paste is used for flavoring – all eaten every day.
The fact that all soy food is labeled non-GMO, Burke believes that eventually China consumers will become more like the consumers in Taiwan, which allows GMO crops, using labels to price points. When a consumer sees a tofu that is lower priced, labeled as GMO, compared to high prices for non-GMO, he believes they will be willing to buy a lower-priced product. Taiwan allows GMO foods priced more cheaply than non-GMO products, and all are labeled.