Bloomberg News

Oil World Sees Rebound in Global Soybean Output on South America

May 15, 2012

Global soybean production may climb 16 percent in the next year as South American crops recover from drought and farmers in the U.S. boost planting, Oil World said.

World output may total 274.3 million metric tons in the 2012-13 crop year, up from 237.5 million a year earlier, the Hamburg-based researcher said today in a report. The harvest in Brazil may increase 19 percent to 78 million tons. Argentina’s crop may total a record 55 million tons, after plunging to 41 million in the 2011-2012 crop year, Oil World said.

“The second half of the season will bring more ample supplies, if South American soybean production rebounds strongly in line with our forecast,” Oil World said. “This requires a sharp expansion of plantings and favorable weather conditions.”

The U.S. harvest, the world’s biggest, may rise 6.6 percent from a year earlier to 88.7 million tons, Oil World said. Farmers may plant 75.8 million acres, 1.9 million more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated in March, according to the report.

Soybean prices reached $15.125 a bushel on May 2 on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest since July 2008, as drought slashed crops in South America and spurred importers including China to purchase more supplies from the U.S. The price tumbled 4.9 percent last week, and touched a six-week low yesterday.

Limited Supplies

Recent declines may have been “premature” because global soybean supplies are likely to remain limited until March 2013, when South American farmers begin harvesting the next crop, Oil World said. Record corn planting in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower and exporter of the grain, may mean corn prices will weaken relative to soybeans, Oil World said.

“It will be a long way to go until world supplies of soybeans are again replenished sufficiently,” the researcher said. “Contrary to corn, the global supply outlook for the major oilseeds is currently still critical for 2012-13.”

Global rapeseed production in the 2012-13 crop year may total 61.2 million tons, up from 59.5 million a year earlier, as larger harvests in Canada and Australia more than make up for declines in the European Union and in Ukraine, where output may slide to four-year lows, Oil World said.

Production of four major oilseeds will rise to 418.3 million tons in the next crop year, up 34.7 million from a year earlier, the researcher said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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