CAIRO, EGYPT — Egypt’s soybean imports in 2020-21 will increase slightly over the previous year, with the United States remaining its largest supplier, according to an April 2 Global Agricultural Information report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA forecasts imports for the upcoming marketing year at 3.8 million tonnes, up 100,000 from this year’s estimate.

The USDA attributes Egypt’s increase in soybean imports to expanded domestic crush capacity.

“Local industry is producing high protein-based soybean meal for the domestic feed industry, as well as high-quality crude oil for the refining sector,” the USDA said.

Imports of US soybeans for local crushing are displacing soybean meal imports. The USDA forecasts Egypt’s soybean meal imports for 2020-21 at 250,000 tonnes, down 175,000 tonnes from its 2019-20 estimate of 425,000 tonnes.

“The drop is due to a 29% increase in domestic soybean meal production in 2020-21,” the agency said.

Egypt relies almost solely on soybean imports as it is estimated to produce just 25,000 tonnes in 2019-20.