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USDA August soybean crush seen at 175.4 million bushels

By Karl Plume

CHICAGO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The volume of soybeans crushed by U.S. processing plants likely dropped to 5.263 million short tons in August, or 175.4 million bushels, according to the average forecast of nine analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

The August crush would be down from a four-month high of 181.3 million bushels in July and well above the 168.2 million bushels crushed in August 2021. It would also be the second-largest August crush on record, behind only 2019 when U.S. soy processors crushed 177.5 million bushels of the oilseed.

Crush estimates ranged from 174.0 million bushels to 176.0 million bushels, with a median of 175.4 million bushels.

August is normally among the slowest crushing months of the year as soybeans harvested the previous autumn dwindle and as the next Midwest harvest is not yet underway. Many processors also take maintenance downtime during the summer in anticipation of active crushing in the fourth quarter.

The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly fats and oils report at 2 p.m. CDT (1900 GMT) on Monday.

U.S. soyoil stocks as of Aug. 31 were estimated to have dropped to 2.105 billion lbs, which would be a 13-month low, based on the average of estimates from six analysts. Stocks would be down from 2.228 billion lbs at the end of July and 2.183 billion lbs at the end of August last year.

Estimates for soyoil stocks ranged from 2.075 billion to 2.140 billion lbs, with a median of 2.098 billion lbs.

National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) members, which account for about 95% of soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 165.538 million bushels of soybeans last month, down 2.8% from July but up 4.2% from August 2021. Soyoil supplies held by NOPA members as of Aug. 31 fell to 1.565 billion lbs, a 14-month low. (Reporting by Karl Plume)

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