NASS’ Crop Production report projects the 2023/24 total soybean supply at 4.4 billion bushels, down 154 million bushels from last year. Lower yield forecast (down 59 million bushels) combined with lower beginning stocks are to blame for the latest revision. The average price forecast has also been increased by 20 cents, up to $12.90 per bushel from a previous projection of $12.70.
This season’s national average yield is forecast at 50.1 bushels per acre versus 50.9 bushels last month. The report revealed a mixed picture across the soybean-producing states, with lower yields outlook for Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Wisconsin and higher yields forecasts for Ohio, Kentucky, and South Dakota. In several states - Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, Ohio and Tennessee – the yield forecast could be record-breaking if realized. Across the 11 major soybean producing states, the number of pods per 18sq.ft was 4% above final counts for 2022 but 2% down the 3-year average.
A lot will depend on the finishing weather as harvesting takes place in September, the report highlighted.
The lower new-crop supply forecast is likely to affect demand for US soybeans at a time when export sales have already been slow in the face of international competition. At the end of August, export sales for 2023/24 were 35% lower than last year, and the forecast has been revised down to 1.79 billion bushels, well below the current season’s estimate of 1.99 billion bushels.
The 2023/24 soybean meal demand is estimated at 54.5 million short tons, 0.2 lower than July. The domestic forecast has been lowered by 0.3 million short tons to 39.4 million short tons due to a slower growth of livestock sector, particularly poultry. As a result, the soybean crush forecast has also been reduced in August by 10 million bushels to 2.29 billion.
Meanwhile, soybean oil supply for 2023/24 is forecast at 29.2 billion pounds, down 110 million from July on lower beginning stocks and production. Demand for 2023/24 was reduced by 100 million pounds to 27.4 billion on lower domestic disappearance and lower exports.