Last week, the U.S. soybean crop was well ahead of average planting pace, at 61 percent planted vs. the 37 percent five-year average. Futures slid all week, falling 77 cents per bushel on the July contract to $15.26 per bushel. The market’s focus last week has been on weather, a labor strike in Argentina, a below-expectation April crush, and a strong start for U.S. 2021/22 export sales.
New-crop 2021/22 soybean export sales rose to 7.02 MMT during the week ending May 13, the highest new-crop sales volume for this date since 2014. Typically, U.S. sales for new crop do not ramp up until August, when Brazilian export sales start to tail off. Purchasers may be staking an early claim to supply now, in case of weather issues and a tighter balance sheet for 2021/22. Brazilian soybeans are currently the cheapest on the global market, with FOB prices roughly $1.30 per bushel lower than U.S. Gulf.
The NOPA April soybean crush report was released last week, showing a 19-month low volume of 160.3 million bushels, some 5 percent below analyst expectations. April yields were solid at 47.6 pounds per bushel for meal and 11.8 pounds per bushel for oil.