November 12, 2003
USDA Lowers US Soybean Output Forecast, Raises Exports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday in its monthly supply and demand report that it has lowered its U.S. production forecast for 2003-04 soybeans to 2.452 billion bushels, about a 1% decrease from the October prediction of 2.468 billion bushels.
"If realized, this would be the lowest production since 1996," the USDA said.
Nevertheless, the USDA also raised its forecast for U.S. soybean exports.
"Soybean exports are projected at 890 million bushels, up 20 million bushels from last month due to strong early session shipments, especially to China," the USDA said in the supply and demand report.
The USDA raised its forecast for China's 2003-04 soybean imports to 22 million metric tons, a 1.5 million-ton increase from the October supply and demand report.
Both USDA's forecasts - the hike in exports and drop in production - were generally expected by traders.
On the production side, traders said earlier this week said they expected the lower USDA forecast because of unfavorable Midwest growing conditions this summer.
Indeed, the USDA lowered its forecast for average expected soybean yield to 33.8 bushels per acre, a drop from 34 bushels per acre in USDA October report.
"As harvest progressed, producers realized yield decreases from last month in South Dakota, upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes and eastern corn belt," the USDA said.