Soybean Meal Mar '18 (ZMH18)
|Tick Size||10 cents per ton ($10.00 per contract)|
|Daily Limit||$20 per ton ($2,000 per contract) Expanded limit $40|
|Contract Size||100 tons (2,000 pounds per ton)|
|Trading Months||Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec (F, H, K, N, Q, U, V, Z)|
|Trading Hours||7:00p.m. - 7:45a.m. and 8:30a.m. - 1:20p.m. (Settles 1:15p.m.) (Sun-Fri) CST|
|Value of One Futures Unit||$100|
|Value of One Options Unit||$100|
|Last Trading Day||The business day prior to the 15th calendar day of the contract month|
Soybean meal is produced through processing and separating soybeans into oil and meal components. If the soybeans are of particularly good quality, then the processor can get more meal weight by including more hulls in the meal while still meeting a 48% protein minimum. Soybean meal can be further processed into soy flour and isolated soy protein, but the bulk of soybean meal is used as animal feed for poultry, hogs and cattle. Soybean meal accounts for about two-thirds of the world's high-protein animal feed, followed by cottonseed and rapeseed meal, which together account for less than 20%. Soybean meal consumption has been moving to record highs in recent years. The soybean meal marketing year begins in October and ends in September. Soybean meal futures and options are traded at the CME Group. The CME soybean meal futures contract calls for the delivery of 100 tons of soybean meal produced by conditioning ground soybeans and reducing the oil content of the conditioned product and having a minimum of 48.0% protein, minimum of 0.5% fat, maximum of 3.5% fiber, and maximum of 12.0% moisture.
Soybean crush - The term soybean "crush" refers to both the physical processing of soybeans and to the dollar-value premium received for processing soybeans into their component products of meal and oil. The conventional model says that processing 60 pounds (one bushel) of soybeans produces 11 pounds of soybean oil, 44 pounds of 48% protein soybean meal, 3 pounds of hulls, and 1 pound of waste. The Gross Processing Margin (GPM) or crush equals (0.22 times Soybean Meal Prices in dollars per ton) + (11 times Soybean Oil prices in cents/pound) - Soybean prices in $/bushel. A higher crush value will occur when the price of the meal and oil products are strong relative to soybeans, e.g., because of supply disruptions or because of an increase in demand for the products. When the crush value is high, companies will have a strong incentive to buy raw soybeans and boost the output of the products. That supply increase should eventually bring the crush value back into line with the long-term equilibrium.
Prices - CME soybean meal futures prices (Barchart.com electronic symbol ZM) opened the year 2018 at about $124.02 per short ton, moved down in mid-year, but then moved up to finally close the year down -1.6% at $122.01 per short ton.
Supply - World soybean meal production in 2018/19 is expected to rise +4.3% yr/yr to a new record high of 242.343 million metric tons. The world's largest soybean meal producers are expected to be China with 30.2% of world production in 2018/19, the U.S. with 18.4%, Argentina with 13.7%, and Brazil with 13.6%.
U.S. production of soybean meal in 2018/19 is expected to fall -0.1% yr/yr to 49.147 million short tons, just below last year's new record high. U.S. soybean meal ending stocks in 2018/19 are expected to fall -18.6% yr/yr to 450,000 short tons.
Demand - World consumption of soybean meal in 2018/19 is expected to rise +4.3% yr/yr to 238.893 million metric tons, a new record high. China is expected to account for 30.3% of that consumption, the U.S. for 13.6% and the European Union for 13.1%. U.S. consumption of soybean meal in 2018/19 is expected to rise +3.2% yr/yr to 32.524 million metric tons, a new record high.
Trade - World exports of soybean meal in 2018/19 is expected to rise +2.8% to 66.259 million metric tons. Argentina is expected to account for 45.0% of world total exports and the U.S. for 18.8%. World imports of soybean meal in 2018/19 is expected to rise +3.5% yr/yr to 62.530 million metric tons, a record high. U.S. exports of soybean meal in 2018/19 are expected to fall -7.3% yr/yr to 13.750 million short tons. U.S. imports of soybean meal in 2018/19 are expected to fall -29.3% yr/yr to 350,000 short tons.
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