WASDE: U.S., world see record soybean crops

By Susanne Retka Schill | December 21, 2009
Posted January 13, 2010

USDA continued to raise its projections for soybean exports in the most recent World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate report released Jan. 12. It also continued to ratchet up its U.S. harvest numbers, with the 2009 soybean crop now estimated at a record 3.36 billion bushels, up 42 million bushels from the previous month. Soybean yield was estimated to reach a record 44 bushels per acre.

Soybean export projections were raised 35 million bushels to a record 1.38 billion led by strong sales and shipments to China and several other markets including Taiwan, Thailand, Egypt, and Canada. U.S. export sales have benefitted from tight competitor supplies resulting from last year's drought-reduced South American crop. That is likely to change, however, with a record world crop led by the big U.S. and Brazilian crops boosting supplies.

The projected U.S. soybean crush was raised 15 million bushels from the previous month's report to 1.71 billion reflecting increased soybean meal exports. Soybean ending stocks were projected at 245 million bushels, down 10 million from last month. Despite increased crush, soybean oil production was reduced due to a lower extraction rate. With projected use unchanged, soybean oil stocks were projected at 2.15 billion pounds, down 155 million from last month. The estimate for methyl ester use was unchanged at 2.2 billion pounds for the current 2009/10 marketing year. That compares with 1.9 billion pounds in 2008/09 and 3.24 billion pounds the previous year.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2009/10 was projected at $8.90 to $10.40 per bushel, up 15 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices were forecast at 36 cents to 39 cents per pound, up 5 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices were projected at $265 to $315 per short ton, up $5 on both ends of the range.

Global projections
Global oilseed production for 2009/10 was projected at 431.6 million tons, up 3 million from last month. Increased soybean, peanut, and cottonseed production were only partly offset by reduced sunflowerseed and rapeseed production.

Global soybean production was projected at a record 253.4 million tons, up 3.1 million. Adding to increased U.S. soybean production, Brazil's soybean crop was projected at a record 65 million tons, up 2 million. The increase is mainly due to higher area reflecting favorable planting conditions and recent survey data from the Brazilian government.

Global oilseed trade for 2009/10 was raised 1 million tons this month primarily due to higher imports for China. Global oilseed ending stocks for 2009/10 were increased 2.2 million tons to 71.1 million with soybean stocks for Brazil and China accounting for most of the change.
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