WASDE: A still tight US soybean market but less so

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/JJ Gouin
© GettyImages/JJ Gouin

Related tags: WASDE, Soybean

The June WASDE continued to reflect the improving conditions in Europe, Ukraine and Russia, while the US and Brazil remain a concern, say commentators.

The latest estimates​ from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) were released yesterday.

The publication saw long-overdue cuts to Brazilian corn production estimates for the 2020/21 season. They were revised down to 98.5Mt, from 102Mt in May. Although, now lower, there are potentially further cuts to come, said Peter Collier, senior market advisor, CRM Agri​.  

Changes to US corn production were minimal, but the 2020/21 season end-season stocks were trimmed again, down from 31.93Mt to 28.12Mt, and 2021/22 end-season stocks lowered from 38.28Mt to a tighter 34.47Mt.

“With US stocks trimmed further, this places and even greater importance upon the ‘21 harvest. The US cannot afford to have a below average yielding corn crop in order to balance demand next season,”​ Collier noted.

Wheat

While, on paper, corn markets tightened, wheat recorded the opposite. The largest surprise being Russian production estimates, revised upwards to 86Mt, up from an already high 85Mt, said the analyst.

Confidence in EU wheat production is increasing, with production estimates increased from 134Mt to 137Mt in 2021/22. Upward revisions were also recorded for US wheat, estimated at 51.66MT, up from a previous 50.95Mt.

“The growing confidence in wheat, be it in Europe, Ukraine or Russia is more than counteracting the potential cuts to US spring wheat; 2021/22 is looking better supplied, but it is corn that will continue to dictate the overall grain market direction,” ​Collier told us.

Soybeans

Although production estimates were little changed, of note were larger than previously estimated US soybean stocks.

The 2020/21 end-season stocks were estimated to be marginally higher at 3.66Mt, up from 3.25Mt in May. The knock-on effect for the 2021/22 season being end-season stocks also revised upward to 4.2Mt from 3.8Mt. A still tight US market but less so, added Collier.

“A slight easing of US stocks in the latest WASDE and a fairly good production outlook have the potential to now start to take some of the heat out of the Chicago soybean market.”

Rapeseed

The outlook is upbeat for rapeseed output in the EU and Ukraine. EU production estimates were increased from 16.6Mt to 17.2Mt in the WASDE, while estimates for Ukraine rapeseed production were marginally increased to 3Mt, up from 2.95Mt.

“Rapeseed markets are on-paper, increasing in available supply for next season. Combined with marginal eases in soybean supply, and rapeseed markets face coming under pressure again as supply confidence increases,”​ remarked Collier.

A lot of the changes for the USDA WASDE were anticipated and reflected increasing confidence in European and Black Sea production, he added. “Markets have already priced in a lot of risk for new season supply, and if production confidence continues to build, this risk premium will be unwound.”​ 

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