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Soybean stockpiles to grow

(Wednesday, May 14, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Associated Press, 05/13: WASHINGTON U.S. soybean stockpiles this year are expected to be the highest they've been since 1999 as foreign exporters increase competition, the Agriculture Department said Monday.

Soybean stockpiles in the United States will grow to 245 million bushels by 2004, up from the 135 million bushels stockpiled this marketing year, department economists said. Exports probably will be 27 million metric tons, a decrease from last year's 28.9 million.

U.S. competitors are increasing their exports. Argentina likely will export 9.1 million tons for 2002-2003, up nearly 3 million tons since 2001.

Brazil, too, probably will see an increase. It is expected to export 20.5 million tons, up 5 million tons since 2001.

In corn, U.S. exports are projected to increase as foreign competition tapers off, the department said.

Corn exports from the United States are predicted to be 1.85 billion bushels this year, up 225 million bushels from last year.

Corn production worldwide is predicted to be higher this year than last, but demand also is up. China and countries of the former Soviet Union probably will produce less than they did last year, increasing demand. The U.S. corn crop probably will be 10 billion bushels, up 12 percent from last year.

Prices could be as high as $2.30 this year. They were as high as $2.35 for the 2002-2003 year. The U.S. soybean crop is projected at 2.86 billion bushels for this year.

Farmers had planted 29 percent of the corn crop as of April 27, and they had planted just 3 percent of the soybean crop by that time. Wheat production in the United States is expected to be at 2.1 billion bushels a 31 percent increase over the 2002-2003 crop because of increased planting and production.

U.S. wheat exports this year are projected to be up 1 percent at 950 million bushels because Russia and Ukraine likely will export less of their crop.

Foreign competitors such as Argentina, Australia and Canada also will see an increase in wheat production while the European Union will see a decrease, according to the department's projections for this year.