The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has significantly lowered its estimate for 2019/20 world soyabean stocks, according to Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP).

Global 2019/20 soyabean ending stocks were down to an estimated 99.2M tonnes, an 11.8% drop from the previous year’s record.

However, it would still be the second largest tonnage ever and make a comfortable start to the new processing season, according to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI).

Beginning world stocks were pegged at 112.4M tonnes, down 1.85% from September estimates. The global soyabean output forecast was also lowered to 341.4M tonnes for 2019/20 from 362M tonnes in 2018/19, UFOP wrote.

The USA’s harvest estimate was lowered by 1.3% to 98.87M tonnes, meaning it would fall just over 20% short of the previous year’s record and be the poorest harvest in six years.

Heavy rain and flooding delayed US soyabean plantings in spring and impaired early stages of plant development. The crops did not completely recover from this poor start during the rest of their growth phase, UFOP said.