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USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade

10 August 2012

USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade - August 2012USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade - August 2012

USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade

Global Markets Adjust to Lower Soybean Production

The world is facing a significant drop in soybean production following the large reductions forecast for this year’s U.S. crop. The U.S. production forecast has declined 16 percent or 14 million tons from the June forecast. Together with South American losses earlier in the year, the total year-over-year decline is forecast to reach nearly 32 million tons in 2012. With significant losses also forecast for the U.S. corn crop, expectations are that soybean prices, as well as corn and soybean meal prices, will remain at record levels as supplies for these feed ingredients will remain unusually tight.

These high prices will likely pressure livestock and poultry margins and eventually lead to a slowing demand for soybeans and soybean meal. This is expected to continue into the coming year when the focus will shift to South America and a forecast rebound in soybean and corn production. Given a larger soybean harvest forecast in 2013, prices are expected to moderate as the new crop becomes available. These lower prices should boost soybean demand as buyers replenish depleted stocks and livestock and poultry producers slowly expand their operations.


Global 2012/13 soybean production is reduced mostly due to the smaller U.S. crop as a result of excessive heat and drought conditions. Global trade is down significantly as a large drop in U.S. exports is partially offset by increases in Argentina and Brazil. Global import demand for soybean meal and oil in both 2011/12 and 2012/13 is partially reduced in response to higher prices. The U.S. season average farm price is forecast at a record.


U.S. export bids, FOB Gulf, in July averaged $644 per ton, surging nearly $100 from last month. Strong demands for crush and exports, as well as concerns over deteriorating crop conditions have boosted the price to a record.

As of the week-ending August 3, U.S. soybean commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 24.2 million tons, compared to 25.5 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 38.6 million tons, compared to 41.7 million for the same period last year.


  • U.S. soybean exports are slashed 7.1 million tons to 30.2 million on lower supplies in response to excessive heat and drought.
  • Argentina’s and Brazil’s soybean exports are raised 2.4 million tons to 13.5 million and 2.5 million tons to 37.6 million, respectively, on reduced competition from the United States.
  • China’s soybean imports are cut 1.5 million tons to 59.5 million to reflect reduced availabilities in the United States.
  • EU-27 soybean imports are cut 300,000 tons to 10.7 million, while rapeseed imports are up 300,000 tons to 3.5 million on stronger demand for crush.
  • Ukraine’s rapeseed exports are up 470,000 tons to 1.2 million on a larger crop and stronger demand from the EU.
  • U.S. soybean meal exports are lowered 1.0 million tons to 6.35 million due to reduced crush.


  • Argentina’s soybean meal exports are down 1.3 million tons to 27.0 million due to reduced crush and slowing export demand.
  • EU’s rapeseed imports are up 300,000 tons to 3.5 million on stronger crush demand.

Published by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

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