Barn and grain storage in Iowa

(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association)

USDA unveils latest WASDE numbers

February 15, 2023 | Jeff Hutton

February’s 2022/23 U.S. soybean outlook indicates lower soybean crush and higher ending stocks, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

According to the report, soybean crush is forecast at 2.23 billion bushels, down 15 million bushels from January 2023 on lower domestic soybean meal disappearance and a higher soybean meal extraction rate. With soybean exports unchanged, ending stocks are forecast at 225 million bushels, up 15 million.

“Even with the increase, however, overall inventories project to be tight at the start of the new marketing year on Sept. 1,” says Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence at the United Soybean Board (USB).

The latest report says the U.S. season-average soybean price for 2022/23 is forecast at $14.30 per bushel, up 10 cents from last month. The soybean meal price is forecast at $450 per short ton, up $25. The soybean oil price forecast is unchanged at 68 cents per pound.

Meanwhile, global production is reduced 5 million tons to 383 million on lower crops for Argentina and Ukraine. Argentina’s crop is reduced 4.5 million metric tons to 41 million on lower area and dry weather conditions impacting yields. Ukraine’s crop is down 400,000 tons on lower reported area harvested. Global soybean exports are nearly unchanged, with lower exports for Argentina offset by higher shipments for Paraguay and Brazil.

“While local market estimates are lower, a 4.5 mmt cut to foreign production is substantial,” says Marshall.

Soybean imports are increased for Argentina while down for the European Union (EU). EU imports are reduced on the pace to date and higher imports of rapeseed and sunflower seed. Pakistan’s imports are also down due to restrictions on import licenses of genetically engineered soybeans.

Global oilseed crush is reduced 3.4 million tons mainly on lower crush for China, Pakistan, and Argentina. China’s crush is lowered on slower-than-expected pace to date. Pakistan’s crush is reduced on lower available supplies. Argentina’s crush is lowered leading to reduced soybean meal and oil shipments. Global soybean ending stocks are reduced 1.5 million tons to 102 million, with lower South American stocks partly offset by higher stocks for China.