WASDE: Soybean exports up, domestic use down

By Susanne Retka Schill | February 10, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 11, 2009, at 10:55 a.m. CST

The Feb. 10 USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report reduced its projected U.S. soybean ending stocks for the current marketing year to 210 million bushels, down 15 million bushels from last month.

Increased exports more than offset lower crush volumes, with soybean exports raised 50 million bushels to 1.15 billion bushels. Export shipments continue to exceed earlier projections, primarily for China. The U.S. soybean crush was reduced 35 million bushels to 1.65 billion bushels reflecting a continuation of the weak domestic soybean meal disappearance that began during the summer of 2008.

Domestic soybean oil disappearance was reduced, mainly due to lower projected use for biodiesel production. The USDA now projects soybean oil use for methyl esters at 2.9 billion pounds for the 2008-'09 marketing year, compared with last month's projection of 3.1 billion pounds. The new projections for methyl ester use was 81 million pounds lower than the 2007-'08 use but higher than the 2.76 billion pounds of oil used for biodiesel in 2006-'07. Overall, soybean oil stocks were projected higher this month as reduced production is more than offset by lower use. The soybean oil exports projection was also lowered this month reflecting weak sales and shipments through the first four months of the marketing year, which began in September 2008.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2008-'09 is projected at $8.75 to $9.75 per bushel, up 25 cents on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $265 to $305 per ton compared with $250 to $310 last month. The soybean oil price is projected at 31 to 34 cents per pound, down 1 cent on both ends of the range.

The USDA reduced its estimates for global soybean production due to hot, dry weather in South America. Global soybean production is reduced 9.1 million tons to 224.1 million tons. Soybean production for Argentina is projected at 43.8 million tons, down 5.7 million from last month as drought conditions and heat in the central growing area has resulted in lower projected harvested area and yields. Soybean production for Brazil is projected at 57 million tons, down 2 million due to dry conditions, especially in the southern producing areas. Paraguay soybean production is reduced to 4 million tons, down 1.6 million, also due to hot, dry weather.

Overall global oilseed production for 2008-'09 is projected at 408 million tons, down 8.3 million tons from last month. The lower soybean prospects and lower sunflower seed production more than offsets increases for rapeseed and peanuts. Global sunflower seed production is projected lower due to reductions for Argentina and the European Union. Global rapeseed production is raised this month due to larger projected crops for India and Ukraine. Other changes include higher peanut production for India, and higher sunflower seed production for Ukraine. Global oilseed stocks are projected at 61.6 million tons, down 3.8 million tons. Most of the decline is due to lower soybean stocks in the U.S., Brazil and Argentina.
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