U.S. Soybean Prices Fall as Buyers’ Focus
Turns to South America
Daily U.S. Soybean Cash Price
(Central Illinois $/BU)
U.S. soybean prices, after holding nearly steady since mid-October, have begun a
steady decline that has shaved 15 percent off the Central Illinois cash price since early
January. Prices broke the $9/bu level in early February, the first time since mid-
March if you exclude a brief two-day post harvest drop in early October. This fall in
price is attributed to a slowdown in demand. With a record South American crop
poised to enter the market, foreign buyers, particularly China, have turned their focus
to Brazil and slowed their purchases of US soybeans. Meanwhile, encouraged by
strong profit margin, domestic processors are crushing beans at a record pace, which
has added some support to prices. However, as competition from South American
processors intensifies, U.S. crush margins are expected to weaken, which would lead
to further erosion in soybean prices in coming months.
Approved by the World Agricultural Outlook Board/USDA
U.S. soybean export bids, FOB Gulf, in U.S. Gulf Soybean Export Bids
the first week in February averaged $368 600
per ton, the lowest since February 2009.
U.S. Gulf/FOB ($/Metric ton)
Prospects of record crops in South 500
America and seasonal shift in China’s
buying demand resulted in lower export 400
As of the week-ending January 28, 2010,
U.S. soybean sales commitments 200
(outstanding sales plus accumulated
exports) to China totaled 21.5 million
tons, compared to 13.9 million a year
ago. Total commitments to the world
amounted to 34.9 million tons compared to 24.4 million the same period last year.
TRADE CHANGES IN 2009/10
• U.S. soybean exports are up 0.7 million tons to a record 38.1 million supported by
strong shipments and sales to date primarily to China.
• Brazil’s soybean exports are up 1.3 million tons to 25.3 million with prospects of a
record exportable supplies and early-season export demand.
• Argentina’s soybean exports are cut 2.0 million tons to 7.9 million as an anticipated
quick start in exports by Brazil reduces competitiveness of Argentine beans.
• China’s soybean imports are up 0.5 million tons to 42.5 million due mainly to
stronger shipments from the U.S.
• Canada’s rapeseed exports are raised 0.3 million tons to 6.5 million in response to
strong exports, mainly to China.
• Ukraine’s rapeseed exports are up 0.2 million tons to 1.8 million supported by rising
demand in the EU.