The U.S. Soybean Export Council hosted its exclusive World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) briefing on March 9. The WASDE is a monthly report published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) providing a comprehensive forecast of supply and demand for major crops, both globally and in the United States.
Traders, farmers and soy processors around the world refer to WASDE as an indicator of where supply and demand, and ultimately the price of soybeans may go. As in months past, Mac Marshall, Vice President of Market Intelligence for USSEC and the United Soybean Board, provided an inside look at what this month’s numbers mean for U.S. Soy.
March Key Revisions
This month, there were no changes to the whole soybean balance sheet, and the record export projection of 2.25 billion bushels was maintained.
“The U.S. remains on pace for a banner export year,” Marshall said.
He also noted domestic soybean oil use was up 200 million pounds, while soybean oil exports were down 150 million pounds. The price per pound was revised accordingly.
“The revisions to the international side of the balance sheet were a lot more interesting in my opinion,” Marshall said. “Which is not surprising given where we’re at in the calendar with all the focus on South American production.”
Brazil’s projected soy production increased while Argentina’s decreased.
Looking at the report in a long-term context, inventories were maintained, but tight.
“March is the first month since September that ending stocks were not revised down,” Marshall said.
He added it’s important to recognize high export demand can cause a downward shift in inventories.
Market Analyst Insights
Each month, Marshall invites a market analyst to join the conversation. Founder of Global Ag Protein Emily French joined the March webinar.
“There is legitimately one question right now at these prices,” French began. “When you look at soybeans or even soy oil, the question is, going forward, for the next six months, does the market trade the U.S. balance sheet or does it trade a more holistic global challenge we’re really seeing rear its head.”
Global challenges referenced include COVID-19 shutdowns, animal disease, weather and more.