USDA cuts U.S. soy export forecast amid protein woes


By Mark Weinraub, Reuters

via Kitco News - February 08, 2018


WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department cut its forecast for U.S. soybean exports by 2.8 percent on Thursday as top exporter Brazil is expected to take an even bigger share of the market amid rising crop expectations for that South American nation.


The government projected U.S. soybean exports at 2.1 billion bushels. The 60-million bushel decline marks the third straight month the government has lowered its outlook for U.S. soybean exports. The diminished export expectations followed a record harvest that lowered protein levels for the crop, which cut demand from top buyer China. "China is looking for a premium product, and they're willing to wait for that Brazilian crop to come in and pay a bit more for it," said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist for Zaner Group.


U.S. prices were about 40 cents per bushel too high to spark Chinese interest, Seifried added.


USDA on Thursday also raised its outlook for both the Brazilian harvest and exports by 2 million tonnes.


Brazil, with a projected record 69 million tonnes of soybean exports, would handle 45.4 percent of the global market compared to the U.S. share of 37.6 percent


The only time the U.S. had a smaller market share was the 2012/13 marketing year, when a crop-wasting drought ate into final yields and lowered the amount of supplies available for overseas shipment. U.S. soybean exports that year accounted for just 36.0 percent of the global market.


Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures closed higher...