2022 record year for non-GM soya in Europe

25 May, 2022

Current cultivation figures from Ukraine show a significant shift in the direction of soya

Europe is aiming for a record year in soya: This year’s
total soya area is predicted to grow to 4.5 million ha in 2022, which makes +4.3 % compared to 2021. Soya area in the EU-27 is predicted to expand by 12 % to a record 1.09 million ha. These figures are shown in the current “Market Report” by Donau Soja. Higher soya acreage is expected in Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Croatia. This expansion is confirmed by feedbacks of seed producers on increased soya seed sales in these countries. In Ukraine, the latest official figures show that the sowing of soybean has proceeded better than expected and will reach the level of 2021”, says Donau Soja president Matthias Krön.

Some country details: Sowing has been nearly completed in Serbia and Croatia. Both countries experienced a fairly dry springtime and this may have an impact on the yields. Also in Austria the sowing is nearly finished. In Italy, some regions such as Emilia Romagna are at 90 % sowing, while northern region are at 20-30% only, with sowing on hold due to dry weather conditions.

The increase in soybean planted area in the EU is fuelled by a combination of different factors: high commodity prices or a public demand for local non-GM soya as well as limited access to fertilizers as soya is less dependent on nitrogen fertilizer than other crops. And finally, soybean is more and more perceived as a better fit for increasingly hotter and drier environment which is experienced in many parts of Europe.

Current cultivation figures from the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture show a significant shift of arable crops in the direction of soya. Again: soybean requires less or no fertilizer and significantly lower energy costs for crop drying due to earlier harvesting than corn, for example. “As of today, around 1.1 million hectares of soybean have already been planted and the main sawing season lasts at least for another 3 weeks. So actually, we are expecting a soy increase also in Ukraine in 2022”, adds Matthias Krön.

The overall Soybean output is expected to grow by 4.7 % to 10 million t in Europe in 2022. As it is still early in the season, any soya output forecast is based on the average yield trends of the previous 5 years. “Donau Soja assumes that the predicted output expansion in the EU-27 (+360,000 t) and Serbia (+240,000 t) is likely to replace any potential output loss in Ukraine during harvest 2022, even if we do not expect any losses, rather the contrary”, concludes Krön.

Info-Table: Soja acreage EU27 and Europe (total)
Info-Table: Sowing progress in Ukraine

Download the press release here

About donau soja

Donau Soja is a non-profit, independent association who supports its partners and members in progressing change to address social, environmental, and economic challenges in soya, legumes and protein production and consumption. This will increase efficiency, fairness and sustainability in European food and feed protein value chains. Donau Soja is supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).