USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report offered some surprises on the soybean balance sheet. After last month’s unexpected upturn, USDA adjusted 2022-23 yields to 50.5 bushels per acre, down from 51.9 in August and below expectations. Corn yields declined, too, but fell more or less in line with forecasts at 172.5 bushels per acre.
Though US soybean production estimates decreased, global bean and meal balance sheets remain relatively healthy. World ending stocks came in at 98.92 million metric tons, within estimates. And supplies could get another boost from South America, where growers are expected to plant record acreage this year.
Demand, meanwhile, is on shaky ground. Historically, China buys large amounts of US soybeans ahead of harvest. This year, however, buyers are quiet. USDA also trimmed overall soybean demand estimates by 113 million bushels. If activity doesn’t pick up in the next month, demand could drop further. Consequently, analysts say markets will have to rely on crop failure in South America for any major upside.