New-crop soy exports smallest in 22 years

The calendar has flipped to June, and most Midwest farmers are focused on the supply side of the market’s price equation — top-dressing nitrogen, replanting wet areas of fields, checking stands, etc. But the market is always a two-part equation, and the demand side for the 2024-25 crop hasn't been particularly great up to this point, specifically for soybeans.

The new-crop marketing year doesn’t begin until Sept. 1, meaning there’s certainly time to catch up, but the spring months haven't been encouraging.

Problem number one has been China. The Asian country, which usually accounts for just over one-half of annual U.S. soybean exports, has at this point of the year booked zero shipments for the 2024-25 marketing year.

Politics has without a doubt played a role in multiple ways. Tensions remain high between Beijing and Washington on the matter of Taiwan, as well as other geopolitical happenings. China is also taking preparatory steps for the possibility that former President Donald Trump is reelected.

The other issue has been Brazil, which up until recently had soybeans offered for export at prices well below the U.S.

A newly proposed tax bill recently announced caused the U.S. to become more competitive short-term, but the end results of the new legislation are yet to be seen and Brazilian FOB offers will likely come back down once more is known.