Here in the United States, the groundhog may have seen its shadow indicating six more weeks of winter, but February 2021 was bright for the U.S. soybean complex. Prices continued to climb as harvest delays and quality in South America contributed to the central theme of supply tightness. Exports have slowed down as part of the normal seasonal pattern but remain on a record pace for MY 20/21, which was further validated when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued another upward revision to its export forecast in the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). Of course, now is also the time of year when the focus shifts to what the new crop will look like. With the backdrop of tight supplies and high prices, the expectation is for the soybean area to approach 90 million acres in the U.S. for the first time since 2017. Purchase commitments for new crop soybeans are high – as open sales for new crop U.S. soybeans approach 5 million metric tonnes (~180 million bushels), more than ten times the volume of new crop commitments at this time last year. For more analysis of soybean markets during February, please enjoy this month’s U.S. Soy Market Intelligence Monthly.
Vice President, Market Intelligence
United Soybean Board and U.S. Soybean Export Council
Mac Marshall serves as the Vice President, Market Intelligence for the United Soybean Board (USB) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). In this capacity, Mac works with USB and USSEC leadership to evaluate and establish long-term strategic initiatives in support of advancing domestic and international market opportunities for the U.S. soybean industry. He also serves as an industry source of market information and analysis. Prior to joining the United Soybean Board, Mac served as global market analysis and trade lead at Bayer Crop Science, where he worked on international market access issues as part of a global agricultural policy team. Prior to Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, Mac worked in Monsanto’s global strategy group with a focus on commodity market analysis in support of the company’s long-term strategy setting and understanding of near-term market dynamics. Before joining Monsanto in 2014, Mac served as a staff economist at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics with a focus on agricultural commodities, in addition to serving as the supervisory economist leading a team of economists covering service industries. He holds a B.A. in economics from Vassar College and an M.A. in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University.