September 30, 2021

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Executive Summary

Drivers for the soybean industry include low beginning stocks, higher production and slowing export markets.  

  • Soybean prices remain elevated despite higher production estimates.
  • Increasing crop input prices will favor soybean planting in 2022. 

Supply/Demand

The total supply of U.S. soybeans is forecast to be 2.6% lower year over year. This is primarily driven by historically low beginning stocks. Higher production, up 5.8%, will not offset low beginning stocks. Higher production is driven by slightly higher yields, 50.6 bushels per acre, combined with higher harvested acres.

Exports are forecast 7.5% lower while soybean crush, for biofuel, is projected to increase 1.9%. However, the loss in export demand outweighs additional crush leaving total use down 2.6%. Increasing soybean crush is optimistic for livestock producers. Soybean and soybean meal prices for 2021/22 are reduced from the previous forecasts. The soybean meal price is forecast at $360 per short ton, down $25 from the last forecast. Lower use combined with historically low inventory will support soybean prices. The U.S. season-average soybean price is forecast at $12.90 per bushel, down up $2.00 per bushel year over year.

Foreign oilseed production is lowered 1.5 million tons to 499.8 million mainly on lower canola production for Canada and the EU. Higher production in Australia partially offsets lower production in Canada. Canada’s canola crop is lowered 2 million tons to 14 million tons, reflecting recent government reports. Lower canola supplies for Canada leads to lower exports of the oilseed and products to the EU, China and the United States. Higher beginning stocks for China and higher ending stocks in the U.S. account for most of the global 2021/22 soybean ending stocks increase, which was 2.8% to 98.9 million tons. Another notable oilseed change includes higher soybean meal imports for India as the government allows shipments of soybean meal made from genetically modified soybeans through Oct. 31. 

U.S. Soybean Supply and Use

U.S. Soybean Supply and Use

Source: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Sept. 10, 2021

Cost of Production

Soybeans require significant amounts of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. Phosphate and potash fertilizer prices are up 60%-70% year over year. This is in a bit of contrast to corn which requires more nitrogen. Higher crop input prices will favor the lower cash flow associated with soybean. The balance between corn and soybeans could shift more towards soybeans in 2022. 

Additional Information

Northwest FCS Business Management Center
www.northwestfcs.com/ag-industries/industry-insights

CoBank Knowledge Exchange
www.cobank.com/Knowledge-Exchange

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
www.agmrc.org

Energy Information Administration
www.eia.doe.gov

The National Biodiesel Board
www.biodiesel.org

USDA Economic Research Service
www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/soybeans-oilcrops

USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
https://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/index.html

Learn More

For more information or to share your thoughts and opinions, contact the Northwest FCS Business Management Center at 866.552.9193 or bmc@northwestfcs.com.

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