Palm Oil Internet Seminar

Section 1 : CPO Price Trend:
Brazil, Argentina and US Soybean Outlook 2020
By: Dr. José Alejandro Clavijo Michelangeli

Lead Analyst, Agriculture Research at Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters). Lead the machine learning and regression model development for area, yield and select demand-side variables of the major grains, softs and oilseed crops forecasted by the Agriculture Research team. I also serve on the board of the Bankable Farmer Initiative, which is a project that aims to improve access to credit for smallholder farmers in South Africa.

World soybean production is set for another volatile year in 2020. South American producers will continue to consolidate their position as the leading force behind global soybean production, as the impacts of the U.S.-China trade war, Asian Swine Fever and a poor 2019/20 U.S. crop favor producers in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

Initial outlooks of the South American 2019/20 crops also seem very promising. Despite a few weather-related, early-season concerns, Brazil is posed for record sowings and production, while Argentina is seeing a boost in area after new tariffs on cereals made soy an even more competitive crop. Paraguay, the world’s fourth largest exporter, will also see area increases and is currently enjoying favorable weather conditions. While U.S. farmers are likely to plant more grain and oilseed acres than last season, current conditions are ripe for corn to stay ahead of soy in 2020/21, if weather cooperates during plantings.

This paper will dive into the details of current South American crop expectations, including current season weather forecasts, as well as a look ahead at the 2020/21 U.S. soybean crop acreage and weather forecasts.

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Questions & Answers (2) :
4 years ago
On the issue of sustainability, how is US, Brazil and Argentina soybean industry managing the issue. Is there a move by the major soybean players to stop or plan to stop buying soybeans produced in these countries.
Jose Clavijo:
The biggest topic for now, is related to the potential lifting of the 2006 Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM), which bans trade of soybeans on land cleared after 2008. The ASM was established by Brazilian soybean traders and has wide market approval from major Brazilian and international market participants, all of which have lobbied the Brazilian government in recent months to maintain the ASM, as farmer groups in Brazil lobby to have the restrictions lifted. In recent years, the Brazilian government has levied hefty fines (totaling in the tens of millions of USD) to companies and producers who violate the ban, but give that the current administration is very pro-farmer, the risk is for the measures aimed at reducing the environmental impacts Brazils soy sector to weaken. At this stage, the actions taken by international market players seem limited, given how concentrated the market is around South American and U.S. soy production. To my knowledge, there are not large, similar initiatives to curb deforestation or other impacts taken in other major South American producers.
4 years ago
4 years ago
US-China trade war has 2 effects. One on China soybean demand and another on US soybean supply. Can you please explain what is happening to US soybean and soyoil situation in this trade saga. Particularly, its effect on US soybean stock level, crushing and the planting intention of soybean growers in the US. Is there change in local soyoil production. Is it affecting the edible oil imports including the palm oil import.
Jose Clavijo:
The ongoing trade saga is, unfortunately, still an open question. Wording in the Phase I commitments leaves many loopholes for the China purchase commitments to vary dramatically, putting a question on a surge in demand, leaving the market and farmers uncertain as to how high will soybean planting intentions will rise after the historically high prevented plantings in 2019/20. Hence, Soybean stocks at the end of 2020/21 will likely still be quite tight. While there will be a boost in acres from last year in the U.S., it will be relatively muted as we describe in the presentation. The likely ~18% increase in year-on-year production (assuming normal weather) will allow for a potential record crush, which is sustained by a likely increased domestic demand for edible oil and biodiesel. Moreover, the overall vegoils market continues strong, as demand from Southeast Asian countries remain fairly strong, and as concerns emerge on the size of the 2020 palm oil crop in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand due to dryness. However, despite the increased overall demand, downward pressure from a likely very healthy crop in South America will keep things in balance overall, and further not incentivize farmers to plant a large crop in the U.S. this season.
4 years ago
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