Recent Soybean Demand and Weather Shifts Indicate USDA’s Soy Yield and Export Predictions Could Evolve

In its August 11 World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates report, U.S. Department of Agriculture analysts forecast U.S. soybean production at 114.5  million metric tons, a reduction from the previous report. It also reduced its U.S. Soy export forecast by 0.68 million metric tons.

“This report is interesting, because it shows how we are figuring out how to balance the current perception of the soybean crop in the field with reality,” says Todd Goll, market research analyst for The Matthews Group at Marex. “Regardless of how conditions are changing, the current reality is that these are the numbers we will trade for the next 30 days.”

The USDA team conducted most of that work in late July, before U.S. weather patterns shifted, bringing more rain to many of the soybean-growing regions that previously experience very dry weather. He notes that the yield estimates were based on surveys that did not include getting into fields to count pods. With promising weather forecasts for much of the U.S. Midwest through August, a critical time for soybean growth, combined with the actual field measurements that will be done for the September report, Goll believes that soybean yield estimates could increase.

In his conversation with Jim Sutter, chief executive officer of USSEC, following the release of the WASDE August 2023 Report, Goll explained the changing factors that he believes could lead to increases in both U.S. soybean yield and export forecasts in the next USDA WASDE report.

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