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NOPA July U.S. soy crush seen at 155.826 mln bushels -survey

By Karl Plume CHICAGO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. soybean crush likely rebounded in July as some soy processing plants ramped up operations after unscheduled downtime that dragged June crushings to the lowest in 21 months, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report. Narrowing margins, however, remained a headwind for crushers that process whole soybeans into soymeal animal feed and soyoil used in foods and biofuel, the analysts said. NOPA members, which together handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, likely crushed 155.826 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates from nine analysts surveyed by Reuters. If realized, the total would represent the second largest July crush on record, trailing only last year's 167.733-million-bushel July rate. It would also be a steep jump from the June crush of 148.843 million bushels, which was the smallest crush for any month since September 2017. The monthly NOPA report will be released at 11 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT) on Thursday. The organization releases crush data on the 15th of each month or the next business day. Crush forecasts for July ranged from 149.535 million to 170.600 million bushels, with a median estimate of 154.500 million bushels. The unusually wide range of estimates comes amid narrowing crush margins and recent downtime at several U.S. processing plants, some of it triggered by historic spring floods in the U.S. Midwest. Some analysts said processors hit by outages boosted operations in July. Soyoil supplies among NOPA members at the end of July were expected to be down for a third straight month at 1.530 billion pounds, a seven-month low, based on the average of estimates from six analysts. Stocks stood at 1.535 billion pounds at the end of June and 1.764 billion pounds at the end of July 2018. Estimates for soyoil stocks ranged from 1.500 billion to 1.591 billion pounds, with a median estimate of 1.515 billion. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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