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Soybean oil use in biofuel production will increase to 14 billion pounds for 2024-25: USDA

The USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report, released on May 10, forecasts a rise in soybean oil usage for biofuel production, increasing by 1 billion pounds to reach 14 billion pounds for the 2024-25 period.

The overall outlook for U.S. soybeans in 2024-25 anticipates higher supplies, crushing, exports, and ending stocks compared to the previous year. Projected soybean crop stands at 4.45 billion bushels, up 258 million due to increased area and trend yield. With augmented beginning stocks and production, soybean supplies are estimated at 4.8 billion bushels, an increase of 85 million from 2023-24.

Soybean crush for 2024-25 is expected to reach 2.43 billion bushels, up by 125 million from the previous year’s forecast, driven by heightened demand for soybean oil as a biofuel feedstock. The USDA projects soybean oil usage for biofuel production at 14 billion pounds for 2024-25, up from 13 billion pounds estimated for 2023-24 and 12.491 billion pounds consumed for 2022-23.

Domestic soybean meal disappearance is forecasted to increase by 3% from 2023-24 due to elevated pork and poultry production. U.S. soybean meal exports are estimated at 17.3 million short tons, representing a 21% share of global trade, down from the previous 5-year average of 19%.

U.S. soybean exports for 2024-25 are projected to reach 1.83 billion bushels, up by 125 million from 2023-24, primarily driven by higher exports in the coming fall due to a reduced Brazilian harvest in 2024. However, the U.S. share of global exports is expected to decrease to 28%, down from the previous 5-year average of 32%, due to increased competition from larger South American production in 2025.

U.S. ending stocks for 2024-25 are estimated at 445 million bushels, up by 105 million from the previous year. The forecasted season-average soybean price for 2024-25 is $11.20 per bushel, compared to $12.55 per bushel in 2023-24. The soybean meal price is projected at $330 per short ton, down by $50, while the soybean oil price is forecasted at 42 cents per pound, a decrease of 6 cents from 2023-24.

The global oilseed outlook for 2024-25 indicates higher production, crushing, exports, and ending stocks compared to 2023-24. Global production is anticipated to increase by 28.9 million tons to 687.1 million, mainly driven by higher soybean production in South America, the U.S., and South Africa. Brazil’s soybean production is forecasted at 169 million tons, up from the revised 2023-24 crop of 154 million.

Global soybean exports for 2024-25 are projected to rise by 4% from the previous marketing year, primarily due to higher exports from the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine. Soybean imports are expected to increase for China, Pakistan, Egypt, Mexico, Iran, and Vietnam. China’s soybean imports are forecasted to rise by 4 million tons to 109 million due to larger global supplies and lower prices. Global soybean ending stocks for 2024-25 are estimated to increase by 16.7 million tons to 128.5 million, with most of the increase attributed to Brazil, Argentina, the U.S., and China.

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