The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) issued its mid-month member crush and stocks report on April 15. The March data showed that members crushed 4.627 million tonnes, or approximately 170.0 million bushels, in the month. This fell shy of the previous March record of 4.677 million tonnes processed in 2018. On average, the trade was looking for total crush to be lower at around 4.572 million tonnes, or about 168 million bushels, in the month. It was somewhat supportive for the soybean market for crush demand to come in above analysts’ expectations; however, the March data is now the second consecutive month where NOPA crush fell short of last year’s record totals and points to a slowing in daily processing rates. Monthly crush totals will need to, on average, run near last year’s levels in order to reach the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) crush forecast for the current 2018/19 marketing year.
Processing data from NOPA points to the soybean oil yield having rebounded by 0.07 lbs. per bushel from February to reach 11.76 lbs. per bushel in March as crush resulted in soybean oil output of 907,463 tonnes or roughly 2.0 billion pounds. On the contrary, the implied soybean meal yield slipped 0.05 pounds per bushel in March to come in at 46.92 lbs. per bushel as soybean meal output rose to 3.618 million tonnes. Member soybean oil stocks were shown to have risen slightly from the end of February to reach just 1.761 billion pounds or about 798,548 tonnes. World buyers who value U.S. soybeans’ quality soybean oil content will be pleased to see higher soybean oil yields reported by this month’s data.