The United States is the world’s largest soybean producer. Based on USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report ([WASDE] September 12, 2016), U.S. soybean production for 2016/2017 is projected at 4,201 million bushels, up 6.9% compared with the previous year (3,929 million bushels). The 2016/17 U.S. soybean yield is forecast at 50.6 bushels per acre, up 1.7 bushel per acre from last month’s projection. If realized, 2016/17 yield would be up 2.6 bushels per acre from last year’s record (48 bushels per acre). U.S. soybean supplies for 2016/17 are projected at a record 4,426 million bushels.

According to the most recent Crop Progress report published by USDA, the U.S. soybean harvest was 26% complete as of October 2, 2016, behind the five-year average of 27%. The report also indicated that the percentages of U.S. soybeans in fair, good, and excellent condition were 25%, 48%, and 16%, respectively.

Overall soybean production is split between soybean crush and soybean exports but the share of soybean crush of total production has been declining while the share of exports has been increasing.  Figure 1 indicates that the share of U.S. soybean exports of total production rose from 36% in 2000/01 to 47% in 2014/15. The share of exports relative to total production for 2015/16 increased to 49%.

2016/17 U.S. soybean meal production is projected at 46.275 million short tons (ST), increasing by 0.2 million short tons from August projection and 1.335 million ST relative to the previous marketing year. Domestic disappearance of U.S. soybean meal is projected at 34.300 million ST, up 0.8 million ST compared with 2015/16. The U.S. is projected to export 26.2% (12.3 million ST) of the total soybean meal supply (46.9 million ST) in 2016/17. The U.S. is the world third largest exporter of soybean meal after Argentina and Brazil.

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