Soybean Supplies Means a Tough Job of Rationing Ahead

September 13, 2012 10:31 AM

USDA estimated old-crop soybean carryover at 130 million bu., down 15 million bu. from the August estimate. Even after spending an extended period of time above $15, USDA increased estimated 2011-12 bean crush 15 million bu., to 1.705 billion bushels. Old-crop exports were also increased 10 million bu., to 1.36 billion bushels. Those demand increases were partially offset by a 10-million-bu. cut to residual “use.”

Can’t use what you don’t have —

Those old-crop usage tallies make USDA’s new-crop demand estimates look “ridiculous.” For the 2012-13 marketing year, USDA puts soybean crush at 1.5 million bu. (down 205 million bu. from year earlier) and exports at 1.055 billion bu. (down 305 million bu. from 2011-12).

USDA’s export new-crop export forecast is equal to 28.71 million metric tons (MMT), a 22.4% drop from 2011-12. Total export commitments this year, however, are running 41% ahead of year-ago. Already, total bookings are at 72% of the annual export estimate and we’re in only the first week of the marketing year!

Clearly, this is a case of “you can’t use what you don’t have,” but prices haven’t done enough to slow down bean use.

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