A perfect storm of events undermining US soybean market


By Aerin Einstein-Curtis, Feed Navigator



US soybean exports are forecast down, driven by lower demand due to swine flu, weak prices, and continuing trade tensions with China.


The US Department of Agriculture highlighted details of anticipated US feed and agricultural exports in an US agriculture outlook report​​ released Thursday [May 30].


Overall, total agricultural exports for the 2019 fiscal year are anticipated to fall to about $137bn, down $4.5bn from estimates made at the start of the year, said the authors, Kamron Daugherty and Hui Jiang. 


“Corn and wheat exports are forecast down $1.4bn and $1.2bn, respectively, on lower volumes and unit values,” ​they said. “Soybean exports are forecast down $1.5bn to $17bn, driven by lower demand due to African Swine Fever, weak prices, and continuing trade tensions with China.”​


“The price premium for South American soybeans temporarily evaporated between early January and mid-May, eliminating the price advantage that US soybeans had in markets outside China,” ​the authors said. “Weaker soybean demand in China also has contributed to price weakness as US producers continue to hold large stocks.”​


“On the other hand, continued strong soybean meal demand and weaker soybean prices have contributed positively to crush margins, so soybean meal prices and export volumes continue to hold steady,”​ they added.


Total exports of livestock, dairy and poultry products are forecast to fall by $500m, as increases in certain product exports do not completely offset declines in beef, and pork, they said.


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