It looks like there will be plenty of soybeans for food and fuel use, especially since the non-renewal of the biodiesel tax incentive seems to have put a lot of refineries’ operations on hold.
The latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate report from the USDA pushes up the 2009 U.S. soybean crop now to an estimated record 3.36 billion bushels, up 42 million bushels from the previous month. Biodiesel Magazine reports that soybean export projections were raised 35 million bushels to a record 1.38 billion led by strong sales and shipments to China and several other markets including Taiwan, Thailand, Egypt, and Canada:
The projected U.S. soybean crush was raised 15 million bushels from the previous month’s report to 1.71 billion reflecting increased soybean meal exports. Soybean ending stocks were projected at 245 million bushels, down 10 million from last month. Despite increased crush, soybean oil production was reduced due to a lower extraction rate. With projected use unchanged, soybean oil stocks were projected at 2.15 billion pounds, down 155 million from last month. The estimate for methyl ester use was unchanged at 2.2 billion pounds for the current 2009/10 marketing year. That compares with 1.9 billion pounds in 2008/09 and 3.24 billion pounds the previous year.
The report goes on to say that U.S. soybean yields averaged an estimated 44 bushels an acre, also a record. Hopefully, this increased size of crop and higher yields will quiet some of the critics who say we can’t have food and fuel.