The soybean processing industry intends to significantly grow over the next few years. This change will open up more domestic opportunities for soybean consumption. Soybeans are almost never used whole but are instead “crushed” to produce soybean meal and soybean oil. Expanding crush capacity provides additional places for farmers to sell their beans while providing more soybean meal and oil for the domestic market. To date, there have been announcements for 23 plant expansions, which would add about 750 million bushels per year in crush capacity.

Many of the crush plant announcements are being driven by the growth in renewable diesel and/or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Demand for soybean oil to produce renewable diesel or SAF has started to grow and is projected to continue on that path. To produce extra soybean oil, crush capacity in the U.S. also must grow. In fact, some of the announced renewable diesel plants and SAF plants have been paired with crush plant announcements through a joint venture. 

A map of the united states with blue and orange dotsDescription automatically generated

Figure 1. U.S. Soybean Crush Plants

Figure 1 shows the location,...