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USDA December soybean crush seen at 188.0 million bushels

By Karl Plume

CHICAGO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. soybean crush likely slowed in December from the prior month to 5.639 million short tons, or 188.0 million bushels, according to the average forecast of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

The December crush would be down from the 189.4 million bushels that USDA reported as processed in November, and well below the December 2021 crush of 198.2 million bushels, which was a record high for any month.

December is typically among the most active months for soy processing, but harsh winter weather last month slowed the crush pace at several plants, analysts said.

Crush estimates ranged from 187.0 million bushels to 188.6 million bushels, with a median of 188.0 million bushels.

The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly fats and oils report at 2 p.m. CST (2000 GMT) on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

U.S. soyoil stocks as of Dec. 31 likely rose to 2.249 billion lbs, based on the average of estimates from five analysts. If realized, the supply would be up from 2.108 billion at the end of November and the most since the end of June, but below stocks totaling 2.466 billion lbs at the end of December 2021.

Estimates for soyoil stocks ranged from 2.220 billion to 2.300 billion lbs, with a median of 2.236 billion lbs.

National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) members, which account for about 95% of soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 177.505 million bushels of soybeans last month, down 0.9% from November and down 4.8% from December 2021. Soyoil supplies held by NOPA members as of Dec. 30 rose to 1.791 billion lbs, up 9.9% from November. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago)

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