U.S. Soybean Crushings Slip in November

Rob Hatchett

Rob Hatchett

Doane Advisory Services

The National Oilseed Processor Association (NOPA) issued November soybean crush and stocks data on Monday, December 16. According to the data, NOPA member soybean processing in the second month of the 2019/20 product (October-September) marketing year totaled 4.488 million tonnes. This was off 0.285 million tonnes from October and compares to last November’s crushings of 4.544 million tonnes. 

According to analysts’ expectations published by Reuters, the trade was looking for crush to come in near 4.681 million tonnes with the lowest published guess slightly above the actual crushings at 4.589 million tonnes. Again, this month, there was a wide range of guessing from polled analysts, with some respondents suggesting that crush could come in as high as 4.845 million tonnes. It is not uncommon for crushings to slip from October to November, given the lower number of calendar days, but there were some ideas in the marketplace that crushings would rise as harvest advanced and brought new-crop soybeans into crushers’ supply chains. Instead, some analysts believed that low farm prices and depressed margins were factors that limited crushings for the month.

Cumulative crushings of 9.262 million tonnes through the first two months of the 2019/20 soybean product marketing year are up slightly at 0.3% when compared with 9.234 million the same period last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report maintained the agency’s previous forecast for crushings to rise nearly 1% from the 2018/19 marketing year to 57.288 million tonnes. Recently added crush capacity and expectations for increasing domestic soybean meal demand from the growing U.S. livestock sector are seen helping to fuel the year-over-year advances in crushings, but processing rates will need to begin to outpace year-ago levels in the coming months to help support current growth ideas. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is scheduled to publish its industry estimates for November on Thursday, January 2nd