According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Prospective Plantings report for the 2022/23 marketing year (MY), US soyabean acreage is set to increase to an all-time high of 91 million acres, due to a significant production shift from fertiliser-intensive maize (corn). On average US farmers plant 85 million acres of soyabean (previous five-year average). However, several US farmers are choosing to plant soyabeans in place of maize this spring due to the soaring fertiliser costs, as soyabean is more agronomically advantageous. Consequently, market sources expect the 2022/23 MY (September ’22 to August ‘23) global soyabean crop to reach a record high of 125 million tonnes, up by 3.6% from the USDA’s 2021/22 MY output estimate.
Adverse weather conditions in South America (top soyabean producing region), have kept global soyabean supply limited so far in the 2021/22 MY. Thus, many buyers have turned to the US to offset losses from South America, driving the US soyabean price upwards. In addition, the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict has supported US soyabean prices due to shortages of alternative oilseed (sunflower seed and rapeseed) exports from both countries. The average US soyabean price on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) reached USD 606/MT in March, up by 3.8% month-on-month (m-o-m) and 17.7% year-on-year (y-o-y). While limited supplies could keep US soyabean prices elevated in the short term, expectations of an increase in output for the next season could put some downward pressure on prices once soyabean planting starts this spring.