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Study Shows Soybean Oil for Biofuels Has Limited Impact on Overall Food Prices

A new study shows U.S.-grown soybeans are well suited for people looking to cook, fuel up or find other sustainable solutions. The United Soybean Board partnered with Purdue University to evaluate whether the increased use of soybean oil in biofuels has contributed to the rising retail prices of food products for consumers.

One key element missing from this equation is that only one-fifth of the soybean is oil, most of the soybean is meal used as a high-quality protein in animal diets. This expanded crush for oil to meet biofuel demand creates increased availability for meal, driving down the price of animal protein products.

Jayson Lusk of Purdue University says, “What we found, after assessing the impact of rising soybean oil demand on prices at the grocery store, was little change to the Consumer Price Index.”

While the increased demand for biofuels pushed up retail prices for oil between 0.16 percent and 4.41 percent, retail animal product prices declined between -0.01 percent and -0.16 percent.

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