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Despite COVID-19, Non-GMO Grain Market Remains Strong, But Exports Are Challenging

Higher demand for U.S. non-GMO soybean meal is being seen from Asia and Europe by Zeeland Farm Services, a supplier of non-GMO soybeans and soybean meal. The company is attributing this surge to India’s pandemic lockdown, which halted exports, turning customers to other sources.

Stonebridge Ltd. has also seen greater demand for its non-GMO soybeans and ingredients such as soy isolate, textured vegetable protein, and soy milk from Asian countries. And Northern Iowa Grain Processors has stated that business has picked up - crediting the increase to companies adding soybean meal to their inventory to ensure a steady supply of protein, and to the fact that non-GMO grain is a specialized supply chain.

Despite non-GMO grain suppliers reporting strong demand even amid the pandemic, port closures and difficulty in securing shipping containers are hindering exports. And as the commodity market as a whole slumps, the price decline trickles into the specialty grain category, resulting in lower prices for non-GMO grains as well. However, the organic and non-GMO grain seed business has not experienced any negative impacts as farmers move forward with their scheduled planting using seed produced in 2019.

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