USDA WASE May 2015 Numbers
University of Illinois Ag Economist John Newton discusses the May 2015 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report numbers for new and old crop corn and soybeans.
Quote Summary - The Chinese are bringing in more than a billion bushels of soybeans a year from the United States. That’s more than the states of Illinois and Iowa produced combined. Their total needs from around the world amount to more than 60 million acres. Twenty-one million of those come from the U.S. This is more soybean acres than can be found in Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. The Chinese have a very large footprint in the U.S. soybean market.Large today, but twenty years ago China imported just 18 million bushels of soybeans from the United States, or 2 percent of U.S. soybean exports. Demand from this one nation grew from that meager amount to more than a billion bushels, 65 percent of the exports, because of double digit growth in its economy. This growth has slowed, and for some it is now a caution sign…but not for John Newton, yet.
Quote Summary - The world bank is projecting the Chinese economy is going to grow at about 6.9 to 7.4 percent through 2017. This is greater than the United States. Their economy is still growing at a significant rate. They have just plateaued some in recent years. So, you look at the growth rate in the Chinese economy as one indicator. Another indicator is crushing margins in China. Part of the reason they’ve increased their consumption of U.S. soybeans is because they’ve increased crushing capacity in mainland China. So long as their crushing margins are favorable it is still possible to bring U.S. soybeans to China and crush them.These projections support China maintaining soybean consumption at or above current levels.
Farmers and the trade are very concerned the price of soybeans will fade over the next six months.
There are a couple of mile posts indicators most will be watching as it relates to the production of soybeans. University of Illinois Ag Economist John Newton says the next one up is the Prospective Plantings report due March 31st from the United States of Department of Agriculture.
Quote Summary - The Prospective Plantings report is a big one. It will give us an idea of how many acres of soybeans U.S. farmers expect to sow this spring. I’m also going to continue to watch the domestic soybean crush and U.S. soybean exports. The nation is on pace to export a record volume this year and USDA maintains this number will increase next year. This would be back to back record soybean export years and certainly worth monitoring. Can the world consume soybeans and the current level? If this is possible, then that should provide some price floor, even some positive price pressure from where we are today.
Exports are reported weekly by USDA and starting in August the ag department will begin reporting the soybean crush totals monthly. The agency is picking up and tweaking a discontinued Census Bureau report.
Quote Summary - The monthly numbers will aid the trade in monitoring the pace of the domestic soybean crush. Another item to keep in mind is the importance of the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standards). It may, at some point, cause soybeans to be crushed for oil. This would have implications for soybean meal and soybean meal prices and this may offset corn fed in the residual balance sheets. These are all things to watch. Some are long run and some are short run; the pace of consumption and soybean crush being the two short run things I’m watching.
You may read more from the University of Illinois ag economists on the Farm Doc Daily website. A new article is posted there each business day of the year.
With nearly 40 percent of the marketing year in the books, corn exports need to accelerate in order to reach the 1,750 million bushel WASDE projection. Based on the implied GATS estimate of 602 million bushels, 1,148 million bushels need to be exported during the remainder of the marketing year to reach the WASDE projection. On a weekly basis this total represents approximately 37 million bushels per week, and would require an increase of 57 percent over the current 10-week average export volume.Again, in order to meet the USDA projected yearly exports total of 1.750 billion bushels the pace of corn exports needs to average 37 million bushels per week from mid-January forward. Using a similar set of calculations John Newton reports cumulative soybean exports for the 2014/15 marketing year total 1.312 billion bushels, up 18 percent from last year.
Based on the FGIS totals, then, to reach the 1,770 million bushel WASDE projection it’s implied that 458 million bushels of soybeans need to be exported during the remainder of the marketing year. On a weekly basis this total represents approximately 15 million bushels per week.While corn exports are accelerating, the pace of soybean exports from U.S. ports is slowing down. Combining the outstanding sales with the remaining balance needed, Newton expects sales could come up 42 million bushels short of the WASDE projection. He thinks soybean exports will struggle to meet the lofty 1.77 billion bushel USDA estimate, but that it is entirely possible.