USDA maintains forecast for soybean oil use in biofuel production

By Erin Voegele | January 12, 2023

The USDA maintained its forecast for 2022-’23 soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Jan. 12. The agency also maintained its forecast for the price of soybean oil.

The USDA currently estimates 2022-’23 soybean production at 4.276 billion bushels, down 69 million led by reductions for Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and Kansas. Harvested area is estimated at 86.3 million acres, down 300,000 from the previous report. Yield is estimated at 49.5 bushels per acre, down 0.6 bushels. The soybean export forecast is reduced 55 million bushels to 2 billion, reflecting lower supplies, reduced import demand for China, and a higher export forecast for Brazil. With lower supplies only partly offset by reduced exports, ending stocks are projected at 210 million bushels, down 10 million from the previous forecast.

The USDA has maintained its forecast for 2022-’23 soybean oil use in biofuel production at 11.6 billion pounds. An estimated 10.348 billion pounds of soybean oil went to biofuel production in 2021-’22, up from 8.92 billion pounds in 2020-’21.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2022-’23 is projected at $14.20 per bushel, up 20 cents. The soybean meal price is projected at $425 per short ton, up $15. The soybean oil price forecast is unchanged at 68 cents per pound.

The 2022-’23 foreign soybean supply and demand forecasts include higher stocks and lower production, crush and trade. Beginning stocks are raised due to an upward revision to Brazil’s 2021-’22 soybean crop to 129.5 million tons, driven by higher-than-expected use through the end of the local year. Foreign 2022-’23 soybean production is lowered 1.3 million tons as lower production for Argentina and Uruguay is partly offset by higher production for China and Brazil. Argentina’s soybean crop is reduced 4 million tons to 45.5 million on lower areas and early season heat and dry weather conditions. China’s soybean crop is increased 1.9 million tons to 20.3 million on reports from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Brazil’s crop is increased 1 million tons to 153 million on higher area.

Foreign 2022-’23 soybean crush is reduced 2 million tons mainly for Argentina and China. Argentina’s crush is reduced on lower supplies while crush for China is reduce on a lower-than-expected pace during the first quarter of the marketing year. Partly offsetting is higher soybean crush for Brazil. Foreign soybean exports are reduced on lower exports for Argentina that are partly offset by higher exports for Brazil. China’s imports are lowered 2 million tons to 96 million on lower crush demand. With higher beginning stocks and lower use, global soybean ending stocks are increased 800,000 tons to 103.5 million.



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