USDA will update 2018/19 S&D projections on Tuesday. In November, USDA lowered this season’s U.S. soybean exports to 1.9 billion bushels due to the trade dispute with China. With 2018/19 ending stocks already forecast at a record 955 million bushels, the industry is wondering how close we might get to 1.0 billion bushels in stocks.
The U.S. typically exports the bulk of a season’s soybean exports to China from October through February; after that, China switches to supply out of South America. This season, of course, the situation is different: China had taken just 339,000 MT of U.S. soybeans as of Nov. 22, compared to the five-year average cumulative for the period of 14.0 MMT.
This year, U.S. farmers have sold to nontraditional markets such as Argentina, Egypt, and Iran, while increasing the share exported to the European Union. However, other destinations have not made up for the loss of China. Farmers are struggling to store a massive crop, and if exports to China don’t resume soon, ending stocks could easily hit 1.0 billion bushels.
U.S. soybean exports by destination