U.S. soybeans get a boost

June 16, 2022 | Jeff Hutton

The U.S. soybean is the “bean of choice.”

That’s the message from Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) farmer-directors following the latest USDA soybean export forecast.

In the June USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the 2021/22 marketing year for U.S. exports raised 30 million bushels to 2.17 billion bushels, up from 2.14 billion bushels in May.

With reduced supplies for 2022/23 and no changes to usage, soybean ending stocks are projected at 280 million bushels, down 30 million. The soybean price is forecast at $14.70 per bushel, up 30 cents from last month. Carryout is estimated at 205 million bushels.

April Hemmes, an ISA District 2 director from Franklin County, said it is clear U.S. soybeans have staying power.

“This USDA report shows that China is still a major buyer of U.S. soybeans. Even with everything going on in the world, the U.S. soybean is still the bean of choice for buyers,” she says.

Fellow ISA At-large Director Tim Bardole of Rippey agreed.

“There's no question that China is continuing to buy soybeans. That on top of the excellent work the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has done in expanding new markets and existing markets throughout the world has really helped in moving soybeans and increasing the value of soybeans for U.S. producers,” he says.

The 30 million-bushel increase to the USDA soybean export forecast for the old crop at this time of year is not common, says Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence at the United Soybean Board (USB) and USSEC. 

“This revision this late in the marketing year is reflective of the strong counter-seasonal pace of exports as shipments out of Brazil are down from prior year levels due to the smaller crop,” he says. “We’re seeing continued strength in purchasing from China as well as smaller but growing markets in Egypt, Mexico and Pakistan.”

Brazil harvested 126 million metric tons this year, down from 139.5 million last year.

Bardole and Hemmes, both USB board directors, said U.S. soybean quality and the effective work by industry officials to market and highlight American soybeans is clear-cut:

“There is no question that the U.S. soy industry ships the best soybeans and soybean meal in the world. After being in South America during their harvest this winter it is evident that we are able to take better care of the soybeans during harvest and storage than they can because of their climate,” Bardole says. “China may not care as much about this quality difference but the small markets and medium size markets around the world are really taking notice.”

Hemmes echoed Bardole:

“We have worked very hard at United Soybean Board and United Soybean Export Council to find new and emerging markets when China stepped back from buying a few years ago. The U.S. has the infrastructure to get our soybeans out to the world efficiently and that is needed by many countries now,” she says. “This is very good news for soybean producers in Iowa. It gives us assurance that our crop will have a market for the year to come.”

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