U.S. Soybean Crush Rises to Record Monthly High

USAgNet - 01/21/2022

US soybean crush in December reached an all-time monthly high of 186.438 million bushels (5.073 million mt), up 3.9% on the month and 1.8% higher year on year, according to the National Oilseed Processors Association, or NOPA.

The record level of US soybean crush is likely to support local soybean prices as concerns grow surrounding the global supply of the oilseed amid the drought in South America.

According to S&P Global Platts assessments, SOYBEX FOB New Orleans was estimated at $540.59/mt Jan. 18, while SOYBEX FOB Santos was assessed at $526.65/mt

A NOPA report released Jan. 18 shows that the December crush volume topped the previous record of 185.245 million bushels set in October 2020. December crush was also well above average analysts' estimates of 184.996 million bushels.

Soybean crushing soared during the month amid higher demand for soybean oil from both edible oil and biofuel sectors, according to market sources. Crushing activity is expected to remain high in the coming months amid supply concerns emanating from the prolonged drought in South America, they added.

Agricultural consultancies have forecast big cuts in soybean outputs in both Brazil and Argentina in the crop year 2021-22 (September-August) as the region has been reeling under severe drought since November.

The average output projection for Brazil now stands at 133 million mt, down 10 million mt from the previous estimate. Similarly, the Argentinian soybean production forecast is seen between 43 million-45 million mt, compared with early season expectations of over 50 million mt.

Brazil and Argentina accounted for almost half of global soybean supply in 2020-21.

As of Dec. 31, US soybean oil stocks were reported at 2.031 billion lbs compared with 1.832 billion lbs in the previous month, and up 19.6% on the year, NOPA said.

The oil stock volume was well above the average analysts' estimate of 1.892 billion lbs.

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