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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Global Oilseed Production To Decline

Chicago, May 13 (OsterDowJones) - World total oilseed production for2003/04 was reduced 2.5 million tons to 335.8 million tons in May.Forecast global soybean production was reduced 3.4 million tons to 190.1million tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in its"Oilseeds: Situationand Outlook Report."Brazil's 2003/04 soybean production forecast was reduced an additional2.5 million tons this month to 53.5 million tons. Dry growing conditionsin Brazil's southern production regions continue to impact yields andreduced the year-to-year growth in soybean production to only 1.0 milliontons. This is significantly below the average annual growth rate of 6.1million tons experienced between 1999/2000 and 2002/03, the USDA said.Argentina's soybean production forecast was also reduced this month inresponse to the earlier dry conditions. Production is forecast to reach34.0 million tons, down 1.0 million tons from the April estimate andbrings forecast production below last season's record of 35.5 milliontons. Bucking the trend for reduced South American production estimatesthis month, Uruguay's soybean production forecast was increased 170,000tons to 520,000 tons. Higher grower returns prompted a nearly 8-foldincrease in Uruguay's soybean production since 2002.Due to lower supplies, both soybean export and crush forecasts werereduced this month. World soybean export volume is now expected to fallbelow the 2002/03 level, reaching 61.9 million tons or 800,000 tons belowlast month's forecast. Crush was also reduced 1.4 million tons in May to171.5 million tons. This remains a healthy increase over 2002/03 andreflects increased crush in South America and China. Soybean crush inEurope declined slightly for 2003/04, while U.S. crush was unchanged inMay, remaining nearly 4.0 million tons below the 2002/03 crush due to thereduced 2003 harvest. Soybean stocks will also be lower in 2003/04 due tothe decline in soybean production. Stocks are forecast to reach 31.7million tons this year, down 1.3 million tons from the April forecast, thereport said.Partially offsetting declines in soybean production in May wereincreases in rapeseed and cottonseed production forecasts. India'srapeseed and cottonseed production forecasts were raised this month.Rapeseed production was also increased for the EU but in this casereflects the move to an EU-25 accounting and the inclusion of additionalproduction data for some of the acceding member states that was previouslyunreported.The global meal production forecast for May was reduced 543,000 tonsto 196.9 million tons. Soybean meal production was lowered nearly 1.2million tons due to the reduced South American soybean supply situation.Increasedrapeseed meal and cottonseed meal production in India and elsewhere, alongwith an increase in sunflowerseed meal production helped offset some ofthe decline in meal production. The global vegetable oil productionforecast declined 93,000 tons in May as lower soybean oil production wasmostly offset by increased rapeseed oil production. Forecast vegetableoil exports are reduced 725,000 ton in response to lower palm oil andsoybean oil trade.U.S. oilseed production for 2004/05 is forecast at 90.2 million tons,up 19 percent from 2003/04. Soybean production will account for most ofthe increase, rising 23 percent to a record 80.7 million tons. Other U.S.oilseed production is expected to decline marginally in 2004/05 based onfarmer planting intentions and trend yields, the USDA said.U.S. soybean exports are projected to reach a record 29.4 million tonsin 2004/05. The short South American crop in 2004 will result in reducedcompetition from Argentina and Brazil this fall that will help boost thepace of U.S. exports. Soybean crush in the U.S. is expected to rebound to45.3 million tons in 2004/05. This would place crush at the secondhighest level on record, and reflects the expected improved supplysituation and lower prices. Exports of soybean meal and oil are alsoforecast to rebound from depressed 2003/04 levels but will remain belowaverage. Domestic disappearance of both soybean meal and oil are forecastto recover in 2004/05 and reach near historic highs.