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Soybean exports from Argentina, Brazil to rise in 2019-20 at the expense of US

Soybean exports by Argentina and Brazil in the 2019/20 marketing year (October-September) are set to increase, while US sales will fall due to the ongoing trade dispute with China and low US production forecast, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Brazil-origin soybean exports in 2019/20 are seen at 77.8 million mt, up 13% year on year due to the ongoing China-US trade dispute and higher carryover soy stocks, which are 100% higher on year at 4.6 million mt, the USDA said.
Soybean exports by Argentina in 2019/20 were expected at 8 million mt, almost at the same level as 2018/19 and up 116% on 2017/18 sales due to weak domestic soy crushing market, as soy meal import demand has weakened in East Asia because of African swine fever, the USDA said.

ASF, which is fatal to pigs, hit China and neighboring countries last August, leading to the culling of millions of hogs across East Asia, sources said.

US soybean exports in its 2019/20 marketing year (September-August) were projected at 51 million mt, up 11% year on year but down 12% on 2017/18, according to the USDA.

The combination of a low soybean-harvested area and yield decline in 2019 should hit US soy exports in 2019-20.

Due to unfavorable weather in 2019, US soybean acreage has fallen over 10% year on year to 79.5 million acres, while the yield has fallen 6% to 48.5 bushels per acre, the USDA said.

As a result, US soy production in 2019/20 was seen down 15% on year at 104.64 million mt.

US-CHINA TRADE TENSION
Last July, China put an additional 25% import tariff on US-origin soybeans in response to tariffs the US had placed on Chinese goods.

As a result, soybean shipments from the US to China fell 81% year on year to 5.4 million mt between July 2018 and March 2019, according to the US Census Bureau, as Chinese buyers looked exclusively to Brazil, the world’s biggest soy exporter.

Since the trade dispute started, the share of US-origin soybean in Chinese market dropped to 8% (5.4 million mt) from July 2018 to March 2019, from 34% (28.4 million mt) a year earlier.

In the same period, Brazil’s market share jumped to 85% (47.9 million mt), from 55% (36 million mt) a year earlier, according to the data from General Administration of Customs China.

The US is the second-largest beans exporter, while China is the biggest importer of soybeans, accounting for over 60% of the global beans purchases.
Source: Platts

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