U.S. Export Prospects Brighten on Tightening Soybean Supplies in South America

Prospects for U.S. soybean exports have brightened considerably since January as strong global demand, accompanied by shortfalls in projected South American production, is expected to boost both the quantity and value of U.S. exports. The 2015/16 U.S. export forecast is raised nearly 1.0 million tons this month, on top of last month's 500,000-ton-rise, and currently stands at 48.9 million. In addition, the export forecast for 2016/17 is raised to a record 52.3 million, 4 percent above the previous record set in 2014/15. The higher U.S. export forecast follows a relatively disappointing period in the export season where abundant South American supplies and a strong dollar led buyers away from the United States. Additionally, global soybean prices fell below $9.0 a bushel as stocks continued to build in the United States.

While stocks were growing in the United States, strong export demand and a rebound in Argentina crush have helped drive South American supplies lower. Weather issues have contributed to the current lower supply situation as dry conditions cut yields in parts of Brazil and flooding rains led to production and quality losses in Argentina. Accordingly, South American supplies in May are estimated to be 15.0 million tons below year-ago levels, prompting the significant price rises observed since early March and a forecast of slowing South American exports in the third quarter of 2016. In addition, a strengthening in both the Real and Peso since January has improved the competitiveness of U.S. soybeans.

The result has been a growing interest in purchasing U.S. soybeans as illustrated by the larger sales volumes reported in recent weeks. This is expected to carry over into 2016/17, propelling exports higher and lowering U.S. ending stocks. With prices expected to remain above those observed in 2015, producer returns are expected to improve.

OVERVIEW

2016/17

Global oilseed production is forecast higher this month. Larger soybean crop projections for the United States and Canada more than offset a reduction for Ukraine. A reduced rapeseed production forecast in the European Union is more than offset by gains in Canada and Russia. Global sunflowerseed production is raised this month on larger projections for the European Union and Moldova. The peanut production forecast is raised on gains in the United States and Brazil. Global cottonseed production is reduced as lower crop projections for India, Pakistan, and the European Union more than offset gains in Australia and the United States.

Soybean imports are largely unchanged this month. Exports are projected to grow in line with larger exportable supplies in the United States and Canada more than offsetting reduced shipments from Ukraine. Global stocks are raised this month. The U.S. season-average farm price is unchanged at $9.50 per bushel.

2015/16

Global soybean production is reduced this month on lower harvest estimates for Brazil and India. Imports are reduced on a weaker pace of trade in Egypt, Vietnam, and the United States. Exports are lower on reduced shipments from Brazil that more than offset gains in the United States. Global stocks are reduced this month. The U.S. season-average farm price is unchanged at $9.05 per bushel.

SOYBEAN PRICES

U.S. export bids in June, FOB Gulf, averaged $444/ton, up $39 from last month, and the highest level in nearly 2 years.

As of the week ending June 30, U.S. 2015/16 soybean export commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 27.5 million tons compared with 29.9 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 51.3 million tons, compared with 50.5 million for the same period last year.

2016/17 TRADE OUTLOOK CHANGES

  • U.S.
    • Soybean exports are raised 544,000 tons to 52.3 million following a larger production forecast and tightening South American exportable supplies.
    • Soybean meal exports are increased 182,000 tons to 11.1 million on growing crush projections and strong global protein meal demand.
  • Brazil soybean oil exports are raised 113,000 tons to 1.3 million in response to higher crush and continued strong global demand for vegetable oil.
  • Canada
    • Rapeseed exports are up 250,000 tons to 8.8 million following the larger production forecast.
    • Soybean meal imports are reduced 150,000 tons to 850,000, on trend with the current marketing year forecast.
    • Soybean exports are raised 200,000 tons to 4.2 million on a larger production forecast.
  • China
    • Peanut imports are boosted 130,000 tons to 400,000 reflecting rapidly growing demand for food and crush-quality peanuts.
    • Palm oil imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 5.7 million following growing demand for premium oils.
    • Sunflower oil imports are raised 100,000 tons to 650,000 reflecting current marketing year developments and growing demand for premium oils.
  • European Union
    • Rapeseed imports are boosted 200,000 tons to 2.5 million following a decline in forecast domestic production.
    • Sunflowerseed meal and oil are raised 100,000 tons each to 3.8 and 1.3 million, respectively, following reduced rapeseed crush and lower meal and oil output.
  • Iran
    • Palm oil imports almost double to 400,000 tons reflecting the very strong demand for less expensive vegetable oils.
    • Soybean and sunflowerseed oil imports are lowered 100,000 and 200,000 tons, respectively, to 400,000 tons for each oil.
  • Pakistan rapeseed imports are raised 200,000 tons to 800,000 on growing domestic crush and strong demand for meal and oil.
  • Ukraine soybean exports are reduced 200,000 tons to 2.6 million following a lower production forecast.
  • United Arab Emirates
    • Rapeseed imports are down 100,000 tons to 600,000 following current marketing year developments.
    • Rapeseed oil exports are cut 100,000 tons to 250,000 on lower crush projections.
  • Vietnam soybean meal exports are raised 280,000 tons to 300,000, in line with the current marketing year.

2015/16 TRADE CHANGES – majority based on pace of trade to date

  • U.S.
    • Soybean imports are reduced 136,000 tons to 680,000.
    • Soybean exports surge 953,000 tons to 48.9 million.
    • Peanut exports are boosted 91,000 tons to 635,000.
  • Argentina peanut exports are raised 100,000 tons to 875,000 reflecting growing demand in China and the European Union.
  • Australia rapeseed exports are reduced 100,000 tons to 2.3 million.
  • Brazil
    • Soybean exports are reduced 1.6 million tons to 57.2 million following a lower production forecast.
    • Soybean meal exports are boosted 200,000 tons to 15.8 million.
    • Soybean oil exports are up 110,000 tons to 1.5 million.
  • Canada
    • Rapeseed exports surge 700,000 tons to 10.0 million.
    • Soybean meal imports are reduced 160,000 tons to 815,000.
  • China
    • Rapeseed imports are raised 100,000 tons to 4.3 million.
    • Peanut imports are boosted 100,000 tons to 380,000.
    • Palm oil imports are down 100,000 tons to 5.5 million, while sunflower oil is raised 100,000 tons to 650,000.
  • Egypt
    • Soybean imports are cut 200,000 tons to 1.8 million, while soybean meal imports grow 200,000 tons to 1.8 million.
    • Soybean oil imports are raised 100,000 tons to 650,000.
  • European Union rapeseed imports are boosted 300,000 tons to 3.3 million.
  • India peanut exports are up 150,000 tons to 680,000.
  • Indonesia palm oil exports are raised 500,000 tons to 25.0 million.
  • Iran palm oil imports double to 400,000 tons, while soybean oil imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 350,000.
  • Malaysia
    • Soybean meal imports are lowered 175,000 tons to 1.4 million.
    • Palm oil imports surge 400,000 tons to 1.0 million.
  • Pakistan rapeseed imports are raised 200,000 tons to 850,000.
  • Russia sunflowerseed meal exports are down 200,000 tons to 1.3 million on stronger domestic protein meal demand.
  • Turkey sunflowerseed oil imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 780,000.
  • United Arab Emirates rapeseed imports are down 100,000 tons to 625,000.
  • Vietnam
    • Soybean imports are reduced 200,000 tons to 1.4 million, while soybean meal imports are raised 150,000 tons to 4.8 million tons.
    • Soybean meal exports are boosted 280,000 tons to 300,000 following an update to historical export data based on Vietnam's customs data.