U.S. soybean stocks are expected to be lower than predicted two weeks ago as exports continue at an unsustainable pace, researcher Oil World said.
U.S. soybean prices will have to rise relative to those in South America to trigger a shift in export sales to either South American origin or into the next U.S. crop season, the Hamburg-based researcher wrote in an e-mailed report.
Soybean futures climbed 9.9 percent in Chicago this year on signs of continued demand from China, the biggest buyer of the oilseed, for U.S. supplies. Futures are still down 3.9 percent from a year ago.
“Soybeans and products are supported by the unusually tight U.S. supplies remaining for the rest of this season,” Oil World wrote. “The market has to accomplish significant rationing to bring demand in line with available supplies.”
The outlook for U.S. soybean stocks by the end of August was cut to 3.4 million tons from a Feb. 21 estimate of 3.53 million tons, compared with 3.83 million tons a year earlier. That’s below normal pipeline requirements, and will result in a stocks-to-use ratio of 3.7 percent, Oil World said.
The outlook for exports was raised to 42.2 million tons from from a previous estimate of 41.7 million tons and compared with 36 million tons last season. U.S. soybean export sales for shipping this season stood at 44.2 million tons as of Feb. 27, a volume that can’t be shipped due to lack of supplies, Oil World said.
U.S. soybean disposals from September through to February rose an estimated 10 percent to a record 62.1 million metric tons, with exports up 18 percent to 36.6 million tons and crush rising 0.9 percent to 25.5 million tons, Oil World wrote.
“It can be expected that U.S. prices of soybeans and products will be well supported, creating widening premiums over South American origin and even facilitating a boost in U.S. imports of South American soybeans,” the researcher said.
The U.S., the world’s biggest soybean producer, may import a record 1.3 million tons of the legume in 2013-14 up from 1 million tons in the previous season, Oil World wrote.
U.S. soybean processors are expected to crush 46.6 tons, up from 46.1 million tons in the previous season, according to Oil World.
Combined September-February soybean crush in the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay rose to 57.3 million tons from 53 million tons a year earlier, while exports climbed to 48.2 million tons from 37.1 million tons, the researcher estimates. Total disposals for the four countries rose to 105.5 million tons from 90.1 million tons in the year-earlier period.
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