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USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade

12 January 2012

U.S. Soybean Exports Plunge as South American Exports SurgeU.S. Soybean Exports Plunge as South American Exports Surge

US soybean shipments have dropped 30 per cent during its normal peak shipping months. In contrast, South American countries have exported large volumes, taking advantage of highly competitive prices on last year’s record harvest.
USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade

US sales to China and other Asian markets were mostly replaced by Brazilian exports. US exports to the EU have also declined, as demand for soybeans is partly replaced by abundant sunflower seed in the region.

Reports that dry weather may have adversely impacted new South American crops could provide additional opportunities for US sales. However, much will depend upon how weather events develop in the coming weeks.


Global soybean trade is lowered from last month due to reduced exports by the United States and Argentina, lower imports for EU-27, Russia, Japan, and Turkey. Production is down due to forecast smaller crops in Brazil and Argentina. World import demand for soybean meal is unchanged, while oil is lower. US season average price remains unchanged.

Soybean Prices

US export bids, FOB Gulf, in December averaged $447 per ton down slightly from last month. The lower bids reflect a continued slow pace of sales and concerns over the global economy. However, dry weather in South America could provide a support.

As of the week-ending 29 December, US soybean commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 16.9 million tons, compared to 22.6 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 24.1 million tons compared to 35.4 million for the same period last year.

2011/12 Trade Outlook

  • US soybean exports are cut 680,000 tons to 34.7 million on slow sales.
  • Brazil’s soybean exports are raised 500,000 tons to 39.0 million supported by stronger shipments, mainly to China.
  • Argentina’s soybean exports are slashed 1.0 million tons to 9.8 million on reduced exportable supplies.
  • EU-27 soybean imports are cut 300,000 tons to 12.0 million to reflect the slow pace of US shipments.
  • Turkey’s and Russia’s soybean imports are cut 200,000 tons each on expectations that abundant sunflowerseed in the region reduce demand for soybeans.
  • Indonesia’s palm oil exports are cut 980,000 tons to 17.9 million to reflect stronger demand in the domestic market.
  • Malaysia’s palm oil exports are up 810,000 tons to 16.7 million to partially offset a reduction in Indonesia’s exports.

Published by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

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