WASHINGTON — Soybeans continued to be crushed for meal and oil in the United States at a record pace that, along with recent strong export demand, especially from China, raised concerns about rapidly diminishing soybean stocks this summer ahead of the 2021 harvest.
As a result of these concerns, many US soybean crushers have extended their soybean ownership well into the spring, said Brian Harris, executive director and owner, Global Risk Management.
“Crush will need to move lower to ration soybean demand, and this is keeping soybean oil basis offers at extremely elevated levels through the third quarter,” Mr. Harris said.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service in its monthly Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production and Stocks report issued March 1 said US oilseed processors crushed 5,895,360 tons (197 million bus) of soybeans in January 2021, up 101,127 tons, or 2%, from 5,794,233 tons (193 million bus) in December 2020 and compared with 5,663,403 tons (189 million bus) in January 2020. The January 2021 soybean crush was the highest ever for a January and was just shy of the record soybean crush for any month logged in October 2020 at 5,897,079 tons.
Crude soybean oil produced in January totaled a record 2,308,752,000 lbs, up 3% from 2,233,486,000 lbs in December 2020 and up 7% from 2,154,427,000 lbs in January 2020.
Once-refined soybean oil produced in January totaled 1,587,925,000 lbs, up 1% from 1,576,008,000 lbs in December 2020 and up 13% from 1,408,135,000 lbs in January 2021.
Of the once-refined soybean oil produced in January, 1,147,158,000 lbs was removed for edible use in processing, up 3% from 1,118,660,000 lbs in December 2020 and up 6% from 1,086,568,000 lbs in January 2020.
Soybean oil stocks (crude and once-refined combined) at the end of January 2021 totaled 2,305,991,000 lbs compared with 2,110,786,000 lbs in December 2020 and 2,355,897,000 lbs in January 2020.
Soybean cake and meal produced from the January 2021 crush totaled 4,353,068 tons, up 3% from 4,235,822 tons in December 2020 and up 5% from 4,144,355 tons in January 2020. Of the cake and meal produced in January 2021, 58,434 tons were for edible protein products, up 29% from 45,266 tons in December 2020 and up 6% from 55,287 tons in January 2020.
The remainder of the soybean cake and meal produced in January (4,294,634 tons) was for use as animal feed.