Export sales commitments to China drive U.S. soybean export market
USDA has raised the 2013/14 (September/August marketing year) U.S. soybean export forecast to 39.5 million tons based on improved U.S. supplies and robust early season export sales commitments. As of October 31, 2013 U.S. export sales of soybeans already totaled 32.2 million tons—a record high for that date. Brisk sales to China are the main contributor to the strong pace, accounting for 71 percent of cumulative export inspections during September-October. Just over 2 months into the new marketing year, soybean sales commitments to China are already 98 percent of all sales during 2012/13. Importers are shifting their purchases toward U.S. soybeans as export shipments from Brazil and Argentina are in a seasonal decline, and U.S. Gulf soybean prices are comparatively cheaper than Brazil’s. Early season export sales of U.S. soybean meal are also unprecedentedly high because of declining shipments from South American and Indian processors, strengthening crush demand by domestic processors. This chart can be found in the Oil Crops Chart Gallery, with accompanying analysis in Oil Crops Outlook: November 2013.