USDA maintains forecast for 2021-’22 soybean oil use in biofuel

By Erin Voegele | February 09, 2022

The USDA maintained its forecast for 2021-’22 soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Feb. 9. The 2021-’22 soybean outlook is for increased soybean crush and lower ending stocks.

For 2021-’22 the USDA projects soybean yields of 51.4 bushels per acres, up from an estimated 51 bushels per acre in 2020-’21 and 47.4 bushels per acre in 2019-’20. Area harvested for 2021-’22 is projected at 86.3 million acres, up from an estimated 82.6 million in 2020-’21 and 74.9 million in 2019-’20.

U.S. soybean production for 2021-’22 is projected at 4.435 billion bushels, up from an estimated 4.216 billion bushels in 2020-’21 and 3.552 billion bushels in 2019-’20.

Soybean ending stocks for 2021-'22 are reduced 25 million bushels to 325 million.

The USDA forecasts the 2021-’22 soybean crush at 2.215 billion bushels, up 25 million from the January WASDE on favorable crush margins and improving prospects for soybean meal exports.

Soybean oil production for 2021-’22 is currently projected at 26.205 billion pounds, up from 25.91 billion pounds forecast last month, and up from an estimated 25.023 billion pounds in 2020-’21 and 24.911 billion pounds in 2019-’20.

The USDA currently predicts 11 billion pounds of soybean oil will go to biofuel production in 2021-’22, up from 8.85 billion pounds in 2020-’21 and 8.658 billion pounds in 2019-’20.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2021-’22 is forecast at $13 per bushel, up 40 cents from last month partly reflecting the impact of drought in South America. The soybean meal price is forecast at $410 per short ton, up $35. The soybean oil price is raised 1 cent to 66 cents per pound.

Global 2021-’22 soybean supply and demand forecasts include lower production, crush, exports and stocks. Global soybean production is reduced 8.7 million tons to 363.9 million on drought in South America. Brazil’s soybean crop is lowered 5 million tons to 134 million, Paraguay is lowered 2.2 million to 6.3 million, and Argentina is reduced 1.5 million to 45 million. Exports and crush are lowered in all three countries.

Lower supplies and higher prices reduce global meal demand, particularly for China where soybean crush and imports are lowered 3 million tons to 94 and 97 million, respectively. Global soybean ending stocks are reduced 2.4 million tons to 92.8 million.