US soybean crush declines as biofuel demand slows

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Westhoff
© GettyImages/Westhoff

Related tags soybean crushing Rapeseed

The US National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) reported a significant dip in domestic soybean crush in April, attributed to rising soybean prices and slowing biofuel demand.

The monthly decrease was 15.5%, with a 1.6% drop compared to the long-term average, marking the first decline of the 2023/24 season and the first month without record highs, commented AHDB analysts.

Kristin Stien, a grain marketing advisor from Eastern Iowa for Ever.Ag, highlights increasing demand issues​ for soybeans. US crush margins dropped dramatically in April and May, exacerbated by slow grain movement during the planting season, significantly slowing the soybean crush pace, she remarked. Additionally, exports are at a 19-year low due to South America's record crop making them more competitive in the global marketplace, added the advisor.

US soybean planting progress

Despite the lower crush volumes, US soybean planting is progressing well, finds an AHDB review. By May 26, 68% of soybeans had been planted, up from 52% the previous week and ahead of the five-year average of 63%.

Rain showers are expected to support early crop growth, with crop progression and development closely monitored in the coming weeks.

Rapeseed market update

Paris rapeseed futures (Nov-24) fell by €3.50/t last week, closing at €495.50/t (US$539/t) on Friday. Despite downward revisions to EU rapeseed production, the broader oilseeds complex and beneficial rains in Canada applied pressure, noted the AHDB team.

In the UK, rapeseed delivered to Erith for June delivery was quoted at £403.50/t (US$515.6/t) on Friday, down £3.00/t for the week. For November delivery, rapeseed was quoted at £420.00/t, down £5.00/t week-on-week.

On Thursday last week, the EU Commission revised its estimate of EU rapeseed usable production for the 2024/25 season down to 19.1 Mt, a decrease of 0.3 Mt from the previous estimate. Stratégie Grains also revised its estimate down to 17.9 Mt from 18.12 Mt. If realized, this would represent a 9.9% year-on-year decline.

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