Soybean Number Crunching

We are currently just eleven weeks into the US 2009/10 marketing year, yet already the USDA have reported soybean sales this season of 26 MMT, 72% of the entire years export target of 36 MMT.

This time twelve months ago sales were less than half that at only 11.32 MMT.

With weekly sales over the past four weeks averaging 1.6 MMT/week, the US only needs to continue selling at that rate between now and the end of the year to have hit the USDA's 2009/10 target before we even enter 2010!

Of the 26 MMT sold so far, China are confirmed as the buyer for almost 16 MMT, and likely also account for a fairly sizable chink of the 3.6 MMT sold to 'unknown' too. That might possibly taking their US purchases so far as high as 19 MMT, the same amount that they bought in the whole of 2008/09.

That is one hell of a set of numbers whichever way you look at them.

Is Chinese growth really that impressive, or are they simply so keen to get rid of their dollar reserves that they'll buy as many soybeans as the US can supply?

Either way, it's a bloody good job that the US do have a record crop on their hands. It also emphasises the point that large output from South America in 2010 is more likely to be a necessity than a burden.