March Soy Crush Below Expectations

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) monthly crush report released Wednesday showed processors slowed operations in March more than was previously thought.

NOPA reported a March soybean crush of 121.429 million bushels, which was down 2.2% from a month earlier and 12.1% from a year earlier. Oilseed analysts’ expectations for the crush had averaged 127.5 million bushels in a range from 123.5-131.5 million bushels.

Reactions to the report was mixed, while some observers saw the low crush as bearish evidence of slowing demand due to high soybean prices, others viewed it as further evidence of very tight U.S. soybean supplies.

The supply/demand situation should be clarified later this month by the Census Bureau crush report, which will report processor stocks of soy meal and soybeans.

The report did hold bullish news for the soy oil market as NOPA pegged end-of-March soy oil stocks at 1.392 billion pounds, down 7.6% from a month earlier and 20.9% from a year earlier. Trade estimates of soy oil stocks averaged 1.525 billion bushels.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.