WASDE: Exports up, biodiesel use down

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 09, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 11, 2009, at 10:43 a.m. CST

In the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued March 11, projections for soybean ending stocks in the current marketing year were lowered 25 million bushels to 185 million bushels. Lower crush volumes were offset by increased soybean exports with reported record sales to China and reduced export competition from Argentina. Soybean exports were raised 35 million bushels to 1.18 billion and the soybean crush reduced 10 million bushels to 1.64 billion due to weak domestic soybean meal demand and poor crush margins.

Despite lower production, soybean oil stocks were projected higher due to a sharp reduction in domestic use resulting from lower soybean oil-based biodiesel production. Soybean oil used for biodiesel was reduced 0.7 billion pounds to 2.2 billion, according to WASDE, as biodiesel producers face poor margins, reduced export prospects and strong competition from other feedstocks.

With the changes in export demand, the USDA adjusted its U.S. season-average soybean price projections up 10 cents on both ends of the range from $8.85 to $9.85 per bushel. The soybean meal price projection was unchanged at $265 to $305 per ton. The soybean oil price was projected at 28.5 to 31.5 cents per pound, down 2.5 cents on both ends of the range.

USDA's projection for global oilseed production for 2008-'09 was down slightly at 407.7 million tons, down 0.3 million tons from last month. Higher rapeseed and peanut production only partially offset lower soybean, sunflower seed, and cottonseed production. Global soybean production was reduced 0.9 million tons to 223.3 million. Soybean production for Argentina was projected at 43.0 million tons, down 0.8 million from last month due to lower harvested area. Soybean production for Brazil is projected at 57 million, unchanged from last month. Global rapeseed production was raised 0.7 million tons to a record 57.5 million mainly due to higher output in China.
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