Record soybean crush, good corn for ethanol use in December

More soybeans were crushed during December 2023 than any other month on record.

The USDA says that crush was 204 million bushels, up 4 million from November and 17 million from December 2022.

That was largely driven by profitable late-year margins and expectations for strong soybean oil demand for biodiesel use.

Those margins have narrowed in early 2024 due to lower prices for soybeans and products, while soybean meal exports and domestic biodiesel usage have generally fallen short of some expectations, which could limit crush demand in the coming months.

Soybean oil and meal production were also above a month ago and a year ago.

481.699 million bushels of corn were used for ethanol production during December 2023.

That was up 5% from November and 13% from December 2022 as producers took advantage of operating margins, while trying to meet projected demand.

Margins did dip during the early part of this year, while ethanol demand during January was hampered by extreme weather.

Production of distillers dried grains with solubles was 1,950,562 tons, an increase of 9% on the month and 13% on the year.

The USDA’s updated soybean crush and corn for ethanol use projections are out February 8th.

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