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NOPA April U.S. soy crush seen at 161.607 mln bushels -survey

By Karl Plume CHICAGO, May 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. soybean processing pace in April was expected to be above last year and the highest ever for the month as soy plants took advantage of good margins and ample supplies of beans, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly industry report. Members of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) likely crushed 161.607 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates given by 10 analysts in a Reuters survey. If realized, it would be the largest April crush on record, eclipsing the prior record of 161.016 million bushels set last year. In March, the NOPA crush totaled 170.011 million bushels, which was the second largest March crush on record and the fifth most active crushing pace on record for any month. The monthly NOPA report will be released at 11 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT) on Wednesday. NOPA is the largest U.S. trade organization for soy crushers, with its members handling about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States. It releases crush data on the 15th of each month or the next business day. Crush forecasts for March ranged from 157.893 million to 164.000 million bushels, with a median of 161.700 million. Soyoil supplies among NOPA members at the end of April were expected at 1.779 billion pounds, up from 1.761 billion pounds at the end of March and, if realized, a fifth straight monthly increase. Stocks at the end of April 2018 stood at 2.092 billion pounds. Soyoil stocks estimates, gathered from seven analysts, ranged from 1.621 billion to 1.877 billion lbs, with a median estimate of 1.800 billion. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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