The much-anticipated WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) report for US soybean forecasts for 2023/24, released yesterday, left market participants expecting a bullish trend in awe. The market had certain expectations going into the report based on various analyst estimates sourced by Vesper:

  • Average trade estimate: Production of 4.146 billion bushels (bln bu), yield at 50.1 bushels per acre (bpa), and ending stocks at 255 million bushels (mln bu).
  • Highest trade estimate: Production reaching 4.218 bln bu, yield at 51 bpa, and ending stocks at 270 mln bu.
  • Lower trade estimate: Production at 4.056 bln bu with a yield of 49 bpa, and ending stocks at 241 mln bu.
  • USDA’s August figures: 4.205 bln bu in production, a yield of 50.9 bpa, and ending stocks at 245 mln bu.

The recent WASDE figures turned out to be in line with the average trade estimates and not with the lower trade estimates as expected by bulls. Specifically, the US soybean yield was revised downwards from 50.9 bpa to 50.1 bpa. Likewise, production figures decreased from 4.205 bln bu in August to 4.146 bln bu in the latest report. Ending stocks also saw a reduction, falling from 245 mln bu to 220 mln bu.

Reminder: the 2023/24 estimates for US soybean production is expected to be less than the previous two seasons: less than the 4.276 bln bu recorded in 2022/23 and the 4.465 bln bu in 2021/22.

Yet, for the global market, the 2023/24 forecast indicates a record-breaking global soybean production of 14.799 bln bu. This is a considerable leap from the 13.599 bln bu in 2022/23 and the 13.232 bln bu in 2021/22.

While unfavourable weather conditions in July and August were initially thought to have a more significant impact, they seemingly didn’t damage the US soybean crop as much as bullish traders had hoped.

Reflecting these revelations, the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) price for soybean oil recorded a dip on September 12, 2023, settling at €1286 | $1383 per metric ton, down from €1298 | $1392 per metric ton on September 11, 2023.

Tip: take a look at our free to use oils and fats calculators, to for example calculate your crude vegetable oil refinery cost.

Fig 1: Vesper’s Price Comparison widget for CBOT Soybean Oil in EUR/mt

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