Industry

U.S. Soybean Crush Rates Surge to Record Levels for July

The National Oilseed Processor Association (NOPA) issued its monthly soybean crush and stocks data on Thursday, August 15. NOPA member soybean processing surged to 4.575 million tonnes up 0.524 million from 4.051 million in June. This was a sharp rebound after processing slipped further in June by 162,000 tonnes from May and barely edged out the previous July record of 4.565 million tonnes crushed in July 2018. This was the first month in the past five that NOPA crush exceeded last year’s pace after outpacing the previous year totals in the previous five months of the 2018/19 marketing year.

According to analysts’ expectations published by Reuters, the trade was looking for crush to come in near 4.241 million tonnes with the highest guess slightly above the actual at 4.643 million tonnes. While the trade was looking for a modest rebound in processing following transportation delays in May due to river flooding and scheduled downtimes in June, the size of the increase in July is likely to change the market’s opinion for the 2018/19 marketing year crushings. Earlier in the week, USDA cut its forecast for the marketing year by 0.544 million tonnes to 56.200 million tonnes. If these NOPA data represent an average proportion of the industry crush, and August crushings fall slightly above last year, then the September-August marketing year crush will come in closer to 56.7 million tonnes. USDA’s August forecast for the 2019/20 marketing year has been held constant in recent months at 57.561 million tonnes while the agency’s 2018/19 marketing year have been drifting lower in recent reports. This is likely the result of expanding U.S. soybean crush capacity that has come online in 2019. This crush expansion will help the U.S. to advance its position in the global soybean product trade while still meeting growing domestic feed, food and fuel needs.

Rob Hatchett
Rob Hatchett

Senior Economist

Farm Journal Media