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U.S. Soy Exports Hit 2 Year High, As China’s Interest Dwindles

7 Dec 2019 12:55 pm
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Mumbai (Commodities Control) - Amidst all the noise and concern about the Sino- U.S. trade war and faltering Global economy, experts believe that the 2019-20 soybean shipping season for U.S. is infact going much better than last year. The United States exported 5.94 million tonnes of soybeans in October, according to data published Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That is the highest monthly volume since December 2017 and is 9% higher than in October 2018. Having said so, China's interest in the U.S. oilseed is roughly half as strong as it had been in prior years because of the ongoing trade war and reduced domestic demand. China's exact bean needs remain uncertain, as do its intentions about buying the U.S. product going forward, especially with the big volumes out of Brazil as of late and a potential record crop on deck there for early 2020. The October soybean total was substantially lower than in the four prior Octobers. The October shipments averaged 9.95 million tonnes, but only 30% of the October 2019 shipments headed to China. November soy exports were much healthier, driven by large Chinese shipments. Weekly export inspections data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest total November loadings may have hit 6.9 million tonnes, with up to 65% of that headed to China. If true, that would be the highest monthly total and largest share to China in exactly two years November soy exports were much healthier, and that was driven by large Chinese shipments. But looking ahead, the 2019-20 shipping schedule is not so full. USDA data shows that as of Nov. 28, unshipped soybean commitments totaled 9.96 million tonnes. China is the critical piece in boosting U.S. soybean exports, but sales slowed in the latest week. USDA data on Thursday showed net export sales to China in the week ended Nov.28 at 298,617 tonnes, the smallest purchase since mid-October. However, there was a flash sale on Thursday of 245,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans, with 120,000 of that for delivery in 2019-20, but the buyer was unknown. Market participants have yet to get a good handle on China’s exact demand for soybeans because of the outbreak of African swine fever that has crippled its hog herd. It is also unclear how long China’s needs will remain depressed, but imports are recovering based on recent shipment data. Meanwhile, Brazil exported 5.16 million tonnes of soybeans in November, a monthly record, and some 94% of those were to China.

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