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Crush Demand to Keep US Soy Ending Stocks Under Pressure

US producers are expected to plant more soybeans in 2024, although the rise in crush demand stemming from the renewable diesel boom is likely to keep stocks from building much. 

In a webinar late last month, analyst Ken Morrison of Morrison On The Markets suggested US soybean planted area will increase about 2.3 million acres to just under 86 million in 2024. Assuming an average national yield of 50 bu/acre, that would push the 2024 crop to 4.25 billion bu, versus the 2023 production estimate of 4.104 billion. 

However, that additional production and more is forecast to be eaten up by increased demand, most notably in terms of the crush. Morrison pegged the 2024-25 US soybean crush at 2.6 billion bu, up 300 million from the current year, and potentially a new record high. Some of that increase will be offset by lower exports, which he estimated at 1.553 billion – down 200 million bu from 2023-24. 

The bottom line, he said, is that 2024-25 ending stocks will come in at 230 million bu, up only slightly from the current USDA forecast for 2023-24 of 220 million., 

“Even with these assumptions, that leaves ending stocks at about 230 million bu, which, again, stays right at pretty well the minimal requirements to get us to the next crop year.” 

According to Morrison, the total annual US crush capacity by 2024-25 should be around 2.9 billion bu; with a 90% utilization rate resulting in an actual new-crop crush capacity of 2.6 billion bu. With that increase, soyoil production is expected to increase by 4 billion lbs to 31 billion in 2024-25. 

Total US production capacity for renewable diesel and associated biofuels reached 3.704 billion gallons in July, more than double the July 2022 capacity of 1.53 billion gallons. For the calendar year 2025, there are some forecasts that renewable diesel demand alone could eat up 27.5 billion lbs of soybean oil. 

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