U.S. soybean processing plants likely had their third-largest monthly crush on record in January. Reuters says it’s also the largest-ever crush for the first month of the year. Industry analysts gave those predictions ahead of the National Oilseed Processors Association report due this week. NOPA members handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the U.S. An average of nine analysts estimates combined to show processors crushed about 183.087 million bushels of soybeans last month.
If that’s realized, it wouldn’t be much different than the 183.15 million bushels crushed in December and 3.5 percent higher than January of last year, when NOPA members processed 176.94 million bushels. Daily crushing rates over the past four months have been at historic highs, averaging roughly six million bushels a day. U.S. soybean supplies are forecast to shrink dramatically ahead of the next harvest. The USDA is projecting the tightest season-ending stocks in seven years and the tightest stocks-to-use ratio in history.