The strong end to the 2019/20 soybean oil exports marketing year may have left the market a little tuckered out—or, perhaps, sufficiently supplied—and we’ve seen less shipping activity so far in 2020/21 compared to the last couple seasons. With this year barely started, however, there is little ground for doubting USDA’s current forecast of 2.8 billion pounds; we will have a better sense of this season’s potential in a month.
Net soybean oil export sales for the week ending Oct. 15 totaled 37,017 MT, a very nice bounce from the previous week’s 1,366 MT. Last week’s major buyers were China (11,000 MT), the Dominican Republic (8,600 MT), Venezuela (8,000 MT), South Korea (4,000 MT), and Nicaragua (2,000 MT). China has not been a significant importer of U.S. soybean oil—at least, not directly from the U.S.—since trade tensions worsened in 2017, but this year’s political dynamics and problems with supply out of Argentina may change the picture.
Shipments during the week of Oct. 15 were 3,146 MT, putting cumulative exports at 21,521 MT (47.4 million pounds), down 72 percent from this time last year.
Total commitments of 215,215 MT accounted for 19 percent of USDA’s current projections for 2020/21, around average for this time of year.