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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has maintained its forecast for 2023/24 soyabean oil use in biofuel production but reduced its projection for soyabean oil prices, SAF magazine wrote.

In its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report published on 8 February, the USDA forecast lower soyabean exports and higher ending stocks.

Soyabean exports were forecast at 1.72bn bushels, down 35M bushels from the previous month’s estimate, reflecting the slow pace of shipments in January and strong competition from Brazil, SAF magazine wrote on 8 February.

With crushing volumes unchanged, ending stocks were forecast at 315M bushels, an increase of 35M bushels.

At the time of the report, the USDA expected 13bn pounds (5.8M tonnes) of soyabean oil to be used in biofuel production in 2023/24, up from 12.491bn pounds (5.6M tonnes) the previous year and 10.379bn pounds (4.7M tonnes) in 2021/22.

The US season-average soyabean price for 2023/24 was forecast at US$12.65/bushel, down 10c/bushel compared to the previous month. The soyabean meal price was maintained at US$380/short ton and the soyabean oil price was forecast at 51c/pound, down 3c/pound.

Global 2023/24 soyabean supply and demand forecasts included higher beginning stocks, lower production, lower exports, and higher ending stocks compared to the previous month’s estimates.

Beginning stocks were increased by 1.7M tonnes mainly due to a bigger 2022/23 Brazilian crop.

Brazil’s 2022/23 production was increased by 2M tonnes to 162M tonnes due to a larger planted area and yield and reflected almost finalised crushing and export data until the end of the crop year.

Brazil’s 2023/24 crop was reduced by 1M tonnes to 156M tonnes with an increased planted area offset by a lower yield due to adverse weather conditions in southern Mato Grosso and Paraná.

Global soyabean exports for 2023/24 were reduced by 400,000 tonnes to 170M tonnes due to lower US shipments.

However, lower US exports were partly offset by higher Brazilian exports, the report said.

Global soyabean ending stocks were increased by 1.4M tonnes to 116M tonnes due to higher US and Brazilian stocks.