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Soymeal futures - can they resume their rally in 2015?

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Soymeal futures fell in 2014, by 16.7%, after two years of gains, weighed by the prospect of easing in supplies fostered by a record US soybean harvest.

However, price movement has not all been one way, with tight supplies, thanks to US logistical problems and a delayed start to the soybean harvest, bringing price spikes over the course of the year.

Can the feed ingredient find a more sustained rally in 2014, helped by increasing demand from animal protein sectors?

Or ill the 2014 price drop set a trend for 2015, with South America viewed as likely to achieve a strong soybean harvest too?

Futures International

"January soybean meal is seen in a wide $340-380 a short ton trading range, and January soybean oil in a 30.65-33.40 a cent range.

"We like soybean oil over meal over the medium term on declining US soybean oil stocks."


"The longer term outlook for domestic soybean meal usage is still bright. Rail transportation problems into the South East US are easing. Crush margins remain unusually high and any 'extra' soybean meal produced tends to work its way into the domestic feed rations.

"Despite our forecasts for strong soybean meal usage, we still think the post-harvest high has been seen at $417.60 a short ton, basis the nearby contract (December) on November 12.

"We still think soybean meal is overvalued in the March contract, and look for the support level of $337.50 a short ton to be penetrated.

"We continue to look for choppy price action and think that the setback we were forecasting in December has merely been delayed.

"However, given the strong usage pace we expect, major price weakness may not kick in until after mid-January. Barring a South American weather problem, the July contract could see a late spring low near $275 a short ton."


"While uncertainty in the development of the South American crops may provide support for soymeal prices, the shift in the biodiesel mandate in Brazil is likely to drag the price down.

"Given that Brazil is moving to a B7 blend, their domestic biodiesel use of soyoil may increase by nearly 40%, requiring stronger crush and thus providing a greater level of competition on the seaborne [soymeal] market in the second half of the season."


"The key driver for soymeal is the strong global demand, which has grown year-over-year despite the record-high prices of the last two years.

Rabobank soymeal price forecasts, 2015

Q1: $370 a short ton

Q2: $350 a short ton

Q3: $340 a short ton

Q4: $360 a short ton

Prices: quarter average, front Chicago futures contract

"In addition, high beef prices have provided price incentive for rapid expansion of both poultry and pork producers, who are large consumers of soymeal.

"For the first time since the 2006-07 crop year, there will be adequate supplies of soybeans for crushing. Soymeal prices in 2015 will be below the high levels of the last two years, but will be supported by strong global demand."


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