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USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade


13 June 2012

USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade - June 2012USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade - June 2012

The EU’s soybean imports are currently forecast to stabilize in 2012/13 after 4 years of steadily sliding. However, it remains to be seen whether the conditions that led to that decline will continue or recent developments could reverse the trend.
USDA Oilseed: World Markets and Trade

Soybeans are normally imported by the EU to crush into oil and meal. As demand for these products has eroded, the need to crush has dwindled, weakening import demand. Ample supplies of alternative vegetable oils have displaced soy oil in the food sector, while sharply larger imports of biodiesel have further squeezed soy oil use. Meanwhile, larger supplies of rape and sunseed meals have limited the growth of soy meal in the feed sector.

With a smaller rapeseed harvest for 2012/13, oilseed supplies are forecast to tighten. This could lead to additional imports of other oilseeds, particularly soybeans, which are expected to be price competitive relative to other oilseeds because of forecast abundant global supplies. Spain’s efforts to establish a biodiesel production quota, which would apply to the whole EU, could also stimulate demand for imported soybeans. However, uncertainty exists over how sustainability may impact soybean trade.

OVERVIEW

For 2012/13, no significant oilseed changes are made from last month. Global soybean production in 2011/12 is lower due to a reduction in the Argentine crop. Global trade is higher on stronger imports by China and exports by Brazil. World import demand for soybean meal is marginally lower, while higher for oil. U.S. soybean exports are up and the season average farm price is marginally lower.

SOYBEAN PRICES

U.S. export bids, FOB Gulf, in May averaged $547 per ton, virtually at the same level as last month, driven by strong foreign demand.

As of the week-ending May 31, U.S. soybean commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 22.6 million tons, compared to 25.6 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 36.4 million tons compared to 41.7 million for the same period last year.

2012/13 TRADE OUTLOOK

  • Canada’s rapeseed exports are raised 300,000 tons to 8.7 million on expectations of continued strong demand from China.
  • EU-27 rapeseed imports are up 100,000 tons to 3.0 million to offset reduced production. 2011/12

TRADE CHANGES

  • U.S. soybean exports are up 544,000 tons to 36.3 million supported by a pickup in sales.
  • Argentina’s soybean exports are cut 650,000 tons to 7.8 million due to reduced availability.
  • Brazil’s soybean exports are up 1.0 million to 36.7 million driven by strong demand in China.
  • China’s soybean imports are raised 1.0 million to 57.0 million tons reflecting stronger purchases.
  • Canada’s rapeseed exports are up 325,000 tons to 8.7 million on stronger demand from China.
  • Australia’s rapeseed exports are up 200,000 tons to 2.4 million to reflect higher demand from the European Union.

Published by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

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