US soybean export forecast lowered

Mumbai, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 06:03am hrs
The US 2005/06 soybean export forecast has been reduced by 1.1 MMT to 29.2 MMT in November. The decline comes as US soybean commitments are down, mainly to China and the EU. After a slow start in China, US soybean sales have been strengthened and are now higher than the past few years. This, combined with a 1.7 MMT increase in demand, has led to a positive outlook for US exports to China. The reduction in commitments to China is due to a much lower carry-in this year than in the past. Total commitments to China as of april were down to 1.3 MMT from 2004; however, as of the November 3rd Export Sales Report this gap has narrowed significantly to 691,000 MT due to strong sales.

On the other hand, US commitments to the EU began down from 458,000 MT and are now down by more than 1 MMT compared to last year. US commitments to the EU are 404,000 MT, the lowest level ever for this time of year. The EU has historically been the destination of around 4 MMT of US soybeans. This level will be very difficult for the US to achieve this year as Brazilian exports to the EU have been unexpectedly strong from August-October and EU demand is relatively flat year-on-year.

Brazil soybean exports on firm footing

Despite a 1.5 MMT drop in production to 58.5 MMT, Brazils 2005/06 soybean export forecast is increased by 1.5 MMT to 24 MMT due to continued strong exports from August-October. Exports in October were reported to be a record 1.7 MMT, up 800,000 MT from a year earlier. This increase comes as farmers who had held soybeans earlier in the year now must sell their beans to finance this years crop. Along with the additional beans being marketed, Brazils crush has been down for the past few months leading to more soybeans being available for exports.

Greek cotton exports to hit record

Greece is the largest EU cotton producer and the worlds sixth largest cotton exporter. For 2005/06, production is forecast at 1.9 million bales and exportable supplies are forecast to grow to over 2 million bales, the largest since 2000/01. As Greek cotton production continues to increase and domestic consumption shrinks, Greek exports are forecast to reach 1.45 million bales in 2005/06.Most Greek cotton exports are destined for Turkey, which in 2003/04 absorbed 33% of the total quantity exported. In 2004/05, Greek exports to Turkey grew by 20% and account for 50% of Greek cotton trade. Although the United States is the largest exporter to the Turkish market, Greece has proved to be a competitive force in the region with its expanding exports and close proximity to Turkey. Greek exports to traditional markets within the European Union have decreased in recent years while Pakistan and China have emerged as Greek customers. After Turkey, Italy is the second largest market for Greek cotton, importing 139,000 bales in 2004/05, down from 348,000 bales in 2000/01. In 2004/05, Pakistan imported 37,000 bales and China 34,000 bales.

Argentine wheat exports to fall

After climbing to a record last year, Argentinas wheat exports in the 05/06 trade year are expected to fall by nearly half. Old crop exports in the past few months have been down significantly compared to last year as a result of a drop in stocks stemming from very strong marketing in the months after last harvest.

Source: World agricultural outlook board