US soybean crush sets record in October volume, meal exports increase

The volume of soybeans crushed at the U.S. domestic soybean complex rose last month, reaching its highest October level ever, despite a slow harvest.

U.S. crushers put 175.4 million bushels into their facilities last month, up nearly 9 million bushels from business estimates and 3.1 million bushels from October 2018, according to data from the National Petroleum Processors Association (NOPA).

Soybean inventories fell from 1.44 billion pounds to 1.42 billion pounds in September, in line with analyst expectations.

“These oil stocks are low relative to the high volume crushed, but meal exports were good,” said Terry Reilly, an analyst at Futures International.

Soybean meal exports in the month reached 894,817 tons, compared to 844,584 tons in September, although they fell from the 967,174 tons exported in October last year.

Crushers faced less competition from exporters as China pursued its demand for South American-sourced soybeans for most of the month, allowing for greater domestic availability of beans despite the slow harvest.

China only began buying from the US in the last week of the month, when the government allocated tariff-free quotas on US grain to private and state-backed crushers, reportedly totaling 10 million tonnes.

And the increase in crush volume came as panel crush values rose further, reaching 93 c/bu on Oct. 31, up from 67 c/bu on Sept. 30, according to Agricensus data.

Soybean meal futures were up 1% from their close on Thursday amid news of higher October exports, but December soybean oil futures were down 25c/lb at 1730 London time in amid a wave of profit-taking.

The NOPA report precedes the full USDA report, due December 1, although the market uses the numbers as a guide to demand.

Source: Agricensus

 

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