WASDE: Soybean exports up, crush down

By Susanne Retka Schill | January 01, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 11, 2008 at 2:53 p.m. CST

Strong early season exports, mostly to China, prompted the USDA to raise its estimated soybean exports by 30 million bushels to 1.05 billion bushels in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released Dec. 11.

The soybean crush estimate was reduced by 30 million bushels to 1.72 billion, reflecting weak domestic soybean meal consumption and lower soybean meal export prospects, especially to Canada. Despite this, the WASDE report left projected soybean ending stocks for the 2008-'09 marketing year unchanged at 205 million bushels. It also left soybean oil use for methyl esters unchanged at 3.1 billion pounds, compared with 2.98 billion pounds for the marketing year that closed in September, and 2.76 billion pounds for the 2006-'07 marketing year.

WASDE projected lower prices for soybeans and soybean product prices for 2008-'09 in its December report. The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2008-'09 was projected at $8.25 to $9.75, down 85 cents on both ends. The soybean meal price was projected at $240 to $300 per ton, down $15 on both ends of the range. The soybean oil price range was projected at 31 to 35 cents per pound, down 6.5 cents on both ends.

Global oilseed production for 2008-'09 was projected at a record 418.3 million tons, up 400,000 tons from last month. Foreign crops accounted for nearly all of the change, with higher estimates for rapeseed and peanuts only partly offset by lower soybean, sunflower seed and cottonseed production estimates.

Projected soybean production in India increased 500,000 tons from last month to a record 9.7 million, reflecting higher yields from this year's harvest. Paraguay's soybean production was reduced 700,000 tons to 6.5 million tons due to lower planted area. Brazil's soybean production was reduced 1 million tons to 59 million due to lower projected area. The reduction reflected recent government surveys that indicated area was expected to be unchanged from 2007-'08. Canada's canola production was raised 1.7 million tons to a record 12.6 million tons, based on the latest survey results from Statistics Canada. Canada's soybean crop was also increased this month based on the survey.

Estimates for the marketing year that closed in September were adjusted in the WASDE report. The global oilseed crush projection for 2007-'08 was reduced 500,000 tons this month to 348 million, due mainly to lower soybean crushing in Brazil, Argentina and the U.S. Increases in soybean crushing in India, rapeseed crushing in Canada and China, and sunflower seed crushing of EU-27 partially offset this loss. Global trade changes included reduced soybean exports for Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, higher canola exports for Canada, and higher rapeseed imports for China. Overall, WASDE raised its global projections for oilseed ending stocks in 2007-'08 by 800,000 tons to 65.4 million, mainly reflecting the higher canola stocks in Canada.
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