WASDE sees more soy exports, crush, supply, competition

Soybeans (K-State Research & Extension photo.)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is revising its method of estimating soybean planting seed back to one it last used in the 2001-02 season “to reflect changes in management practices and technology.”

The announcement was made as part of the May 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates published by USDA.

More information on this change was released in the Economic Research Service’s Oil Crops Outlook on May 14, which predicted record or near-record soybean crops for Brazil, Argentina and South Africa as well as higher volumes for the United States. It also forecast growing oilseed crush for 2024-25, from 17.3 million tons to 560.8 million from 2023-24, with most of the growth for soybeans (15.9 million) coming from Argentina, China, Pakistan and the U.S.

2024 outlook

The 2024-25 outlook for U.S. soybeans was for higher supplies, crush, exports and ending stocks compared with 2023-24. The soybean crop was projected at 4.45 billion bushels, up 285 million bushels on higher area and trend yields. Soybean supplies were forecast at 4.8 billion bushels, up 8 percent from 2023024. U.S. soybean crush for 2024-25 was projected at 2.43 billion bushels, up 125 million from the 2023-24 season.

The WASDE said global soybean exports for 2024-25 were increasing 4% from the last marketing year, mainly on higher soybean exports for the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine. Soybean imports are projected to be higher for China, Pakistan, Egypt, Mexico, Iran and Vietnam. China’s soybean imports are rising by 4 million tons to 109 million on larger global supplies and lower prices. Global 2024-25 soybean ending stocks were projected up 16.7 million tons to 128.5 million, with most of the increase for Brazil, Argentina, the U.S. and China.

Biofuel demand

Total U.S. oilseed production was projected at 131.2 million tons, up 8.9 million from 2023-24 on higher soybean, cottonseed and peanut production partly offset by lower rapeseed and sunflower seed. U.S. soybean crush for 2024-25 was projected at 2.43 billion bushels, up 125 million from the 2023-24 forecast on higher demand for soybean oil as a biofuel feedstock, projected to increase 1 billion pounds to 14.0 billion.

Domestic soybean meal disappearance is forecast to increase 3% from 2023-24 on increased pork and poultry production. U.S. soybean meal exports are forecast at 17.3 million short tons, indicating a 21% share of global trade, compared to the prior 5-year average of 19%.

U.S. soybean exports were forecast at 1.83 billion bushels, up 125 million from 2023-24 with higher exports forecast this fall due to a lower Brazilian 2024 harvest. With strong seasonal exports after harvest followed by pressure from larger South American production in 2025, the U.S. share of global exports was forecast at 28 percent, down from the prior 5-year average of 32%.

Domestic demand for canola oil was expected to grow 7%, with a -percent growth in food use and a 15% growth in biofuel use. Biofuel use was forecast up 600 million pounds from MY 2023-24 to 4.6 billion pounds as canola oil continues to be a feedstock in renewable diesel production.

U.S. soybean ending stocks for 2024-25 were projected at 445 million bushels, up 105 million from last year. The soybean oil price was forecast at 42 cents per pound, down 6 cents from 2023-24.

Global sunflower seed and rapeseed crush estimates were flat on stable available supplies. Soybean meal exports account for most meal export growth. Lower year-over-year exports of sunflower seed oil and rapeseed (canola) oil are mostly offset by growth in soybean, palm and palm kernel oil shipments.

David Murray can be reached at [email protected].