Soybean exports in 2020 have been “anemic” according to Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, but it’s not time for concern.
“It's important to keep in mind that this is normally the time of year where the U.S. soybean export spigot essentially gets turned off and the South American spigot gets turned on,” Steenhoek explained to AgDay’s Clinton Griffiths on the Farm Journal Live newscast. “Eighty percent of our exports for soybeans occur between the months of September and February, so this naturally is the time where there is this pullback, and when our harvest comes online, that's when the U.S. soybean export spigot gets turned on and South America gets turned off.”
He said while the export flow is slow this time of year, it is continuing and it shows that the supply chain is working despite coronavirus concerns.
There is some market opportunity generated by political problems in South America according to Steenhoek.
“One thing that we are noticing out of Argentina is there's a real dispute between municipal governments and the federal government in Argentina as far as truck movements,” he explained. “A lot of these municipal governments are not allowing truck movements to occur. So, movements to some of these processing facilities in that Rosario area of Brazil are about half of what they normally were earlier this month, so that's actually putting some upward pressure and demand for soybean meal exports.”
The high relative value of the dollar, however, continues to put U.S. product at a price disadvantage, according to Steenhoek.
For the full analysis of the COVID-19 impact on soy exports watch Monday’s Farm Journal Live newscast in the player above.
Watch Farm Journal Live, a daily news webcast, at noon Central, Monday through Friday at AgWeb.com.