Exports Loom Large in U.S. Soybean Market

Traditionally, domestic crush has been the primary component of U.S. soybean disappearance. A decade ago, nearly twice as many soybeans were crushed as were exported. This year is radically different, with exports essentially matching the amount crushed. Key factors in the declining share of crush are rising soybean production and export demand.

If exports of soybeans as meal are factored into the equation, more than one of every two soybeans produced enters the export channel. Accordingly, the domestic soybean market is highly dependent upon overseas markets and influenced by circumstances in China and South America. This contrasts to the U.S. corn market where exports, including DDGS, are forecast to account for less than 20 percent of total supply.

OVERVIEW

Global soybean production is higher as larger crops in the United States, Brazil, and Bolivia more than offset a smaller crop in India. Soybean trade is up with increased U.S. exports. The U.S. season-average farm price is raised for soybeans, while lowered for soybean oil.

SOYBEAN PRICES

U.S. export bids, FOB Gulf, in December averaged $419 per ton, down $14 from last month. As of the week ending January 1, 2014/15 U.S. soybean commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 27.0 million tons compared to 26.1 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 43.2 million tons, compared to 40.8 million for the same period last year.

2014/15 TRADE OUTLOOK

  • United States soybean exports are up 273,000 tons to 48.2 million on strong sales and commitments to date.
  • Brazilsoybean oil exports are down 100,000 tons to 1.2 million as limited supplies are diverted to meet the domestic biodiesel mandate.
  • Canadarapeseed exports are up 200,000 tons to 8.5 million on growing demand.
  • Chinasoybean oil imports are down 100,000 tons to 1.0 million on slow shipments to date.
  • EU: A rebalancing of consumption patterns across the oilseed complex along with recent trade analysis resulted in the following changes.
  • o Palm kernel meal imports are down 200,000 tons to 2.4 million.
  • o Rapeseed imports are up 540,000 tons to 2.9 million.
  • o Rapeseed meal imports are up 140,000 tons to 440,000.
  • o Soybean meal imports are down 500,000 tons to 19.3 million, while soybean meal exports are also down 160,000 tons to 390,000.
  • o Palm oil imports are up 150,000 tons to 7.0 million.
  • India
  • o Rapeseed meal exports are up 100,000 tons to 1.1 million on strong early-season sales.
  • o Soybean meal exports are down 300,000 tons to 2.6 million on lower crush and rising domestic demand.
  • o Soybean production and stocks were revised for 2008/09 to 2014/15.
  • Indonesiasoybean imports are up 100,000 tons to 2.4 million on increased food use.
  • New Zealand palm kernel meal imports are up 300,000 tons to 2.1 million on trade analysis.
  • Turkeysoybean imports are up 100,000 tons to 1.6 million as shipments remain strong