From Quarterly Agricultural Export Forecast, released yesterday.
Fiscal year (October/September) 2019 agricultural exports are projected at $141.5 billion, down $1.9 billion from fiscal year 2018 and $3.0 billion from the August 2018 forecast, largely due to decreases in soybeans and cotton. Soybean export volumes are down because of declining Chinese purchases from the United States as a result of trade tensions, and as a record U.S. crop continues to pressure soybean prices lower.
My calculations: The value of soybean exports will be down 14.4% going from FY2018 to FY2019 (FY is October to September); the quantity of exports will be down 9.2%, implying a 5.2% decline in prices (all in log terms).
The value of soybean exports in FY2018 is itself down 9.7% relative to FY2017.
The outlook has darkened considerably since the August forecast. The FY2019 forecast for export value has been revised down 11.6%, 8.2% of the decline accounted for by quantity revision.
China looms large.
The forecast for China is lowered $3.0 billion to $9.0 billion [going from August to November forecast], as continued trade tensions limit U.S. export opportunities for many products, most notably soybeans. China is expected to
source most of its soybean imports from countries other than the United States.
So, I still await the Chinese capitulation that drives a recovery in soybean prices.