US soybean crush hits record October volume, meal exports spike

15 Nov 2019 | Thomas Hughes

The volume of soybeans crushed in the domestic soy complex in the US rose last month to hit the highest October level ever in for the month despite a sluggish harvest.

US crushers put 175.4 million bushels through their facilities last month, up by close to 9 million bushels on trades estimates and up 3.1 million bushels on the October 2018 figure, data from the National Oil Processors Association (NOPA) showed.

Soyoil stocks fell to 1.42 billion lbs from 1.44 billion lbs in September, in line with analyst expectations.

“These oil stocks are low relative to the high volume crushed, but meal exports were good,” said Terry Reilly, an analyst at Futures International.

Soymeal exports in the month hit 894,817 tons, up from 844,584 tons in September, although they were down from the 967,174 tons exported in October last year.

Crushers faced less competition from exporters as China sought out its soybean demand from South American origins for most of the month, allowing for greater domestic availability of beans despite a slow harvest.

China only began to buy from the US in the final week of the month, when the government allocated tariff-free quotas on US beans to private and state-backed crushers rumoured to total 10 million mt.

And the rise in the crush volume came as board crush values rallied higher, hitting 93 c/bu by October 31, up from 67 c/bu on September 30 according to Agricensus data.

Soybean meal futures rose by 1% from their close on Thursday amid news of higher October exports, but December soyoil futures had dropped by 25 c/lb by 1730 London time amid a wave of profit-taking.

The NOPA report precedes the full USDA report, which is due on December 1, although the market uses the figures as a guide to demand.