USDA surprises, but report has neutral tone for soybeans

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     Porto Alegre, August 16, 2021 – The August report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), released on the 12th, brought important adjustments. Although the Department made adjustments in the same direction expected by the market, their size was surprising. The larger-than-expected cut in the 2021/22 US crop contrasted with an also above-expected increase in ending stocks for the 2020/21 season, which ended up resulting in unchanged stocks for the new season.

     USDA indicated that the US soybean crop must stand at 4.339 bln bushels in 2021/22, equivalent to 118.08 mln tons. The market was expecting 4.360 bln or 118.66 mln. In July, the indication was 4.405 bln bushels or 119.88 mln tons.

     Yield was cut from 50.8 to 50 bushels per acre, while the market had estimated 50.3 bushels per acre.

     Ending stocks are estimated at 155 mln bushels or 4.22 mln tons. The market was betting on carryover stocks of 151 mln or 4.11 mln tons. The forecast did not change from the July report.

     USDA indicated the crush at 2.205 bln bushels (60.01 mln tons) and exports of 2.055 bln (55.93 mln tons). In July, the numbers were 2.225 bln (60.55 mln tons) and 2.075 bln bushels (56.47 mln tons), respectively.

     For the 2020/21 season, USDA raised the forecast for carryover stocks from 135 mln bushels to 160 mln – from 3.67 to 4.54 mln tons. The market was betting on 147 mln bushels or 4 mln tons.

     For the world picture, the report projected a global soybean crop of 383.63 mln tons in 2021/22. Final stocks are estimated at 96.15 mln tons. The market was expecting ending stocks of 94.8 mln tons. In July, USDA had indicated the production of 385.22 mln and stocks of 94.49 mln tons.

     USDA projects the US crop at 118.08 mln tons, as already mentioned. For Brazil, the forecast is for the production of 144 mln tons. Argentina’s crop is estimated at 52 mln tons. Chinese imports must reach 101 mln tons, against 102 mln in the previous report.

     For the 2020/21 season, the estimate for the world crop was 363.26 mln tons. Carryover stocks are projected at 92.82 mln tons. The market was betting on stocks of 91.5 mln tons.

     Brazil’s production was maintained at 137 mln. The Argentine crop was reduced from 46.5 to 46 mln tons. The forecast for Chinese imports was reduced from 98 to 97 mln tons, a figure that also drew attention.

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