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Global Soybean Trade picks up in March – World Oilseed Exports Projected Above Last Year

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee
Bean farm
Farmer in Farm

World soybean trade has picked up in the month of March. Soybean exports from Brazil have expanded last month after a slowdown in February. Exports in March reached a record 13.5 million tons, which was 25 percent above the March 2020 record of 10.9 million tons. 

Exports were affected in February following a late harvest. Harvest was delayed due to heavy rains in the growing season and difference in the timings of harvest at different regions. Export sales from Brazil were the lowest in last 3 years. USDA’s current forecast says that around 4.8 million tons will be exported for the period compared to 4.2 million tons shipped last year.  

The export business improved up in USA as well and total U.S. soybean shipments reached 59.0 million tons as of April 1, 2021 and major buyer was China, taking nearly 60 percent or 35.8 million tons of soybeans from the US. Exports to China have expanded by almost 400 times from the same period in 2019/20. Total export sales commitments  for US soybeans has reached a record 64.7 million tons, up nearly 75 percent (27.4 million tons) from last year, because of growth in sales and exports to China. It may be noted that due to projected U.S. soybean plantings going below both initial USDA projections and market expectations, prospects for a tight global soybean market in late 2021 have increased.   

There was a moderate increase in the export offers from the US in the month of March. For the same period, while Brazil prices held flat and Argentina prices fell sharply. U.S. prices attained 7-year highs as market continued factoring in tightened inventory situation. Prices in Brazil fell slightly due to expectations of seasonally large new-crop and higher exportable supplies. Argentina soybean on the other hand fell as rains helped providing much needed moisture and curbed the crop losses in the drought-affected areas. 

Despite the slow start in Brazil, exports for the first 2 months of the local marketing year (February – January) are currently above 7 lakh tons of last year’s record number. The potential for record shipments in April is still possibility as an extensive lineup of the shipment remains. Like previous year, U.S. producers are most likely to face competition similar from Brazil in the coming October to January period. 

Global oilseed export projection is raised over 1 million tons by the US Department of Agriculture in the latest report, mainly due to rise in Brazil and U.S. soybean exports. Likewise world soybean exports are increased by 1.2 million tons to 170.9 million. Export estimates for Brazil, Russia, and U.S. exports are revised higher but lowered the same for Paraguay and Ukraine. 

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