HAMBURG (B)--Soybean stocks in the G3 countries of the United States, Argentina and Brazil could be "decimated" to 37.4 million tons by the end of February 2001, Hamburg-based newsletter Oil World said Nov. 21. This would be 1.3 million tons down on the year, and is seen due to increased U.S. soybean exports and crushings to meet strong global demand against the background of tight supplies from Argentina and Brazil.

Global soybean demand is seen accelerating and sharply reduced world rapeseed production will favor soybeans in coming months, the newsletter said.

"This demand will have to be covered exclusively by the United States, since Argentina and Brazil combined are likely to turn into net importers in November 2000-February 2001," it said. "This will shift the burden to U.S. exports, which we tentatively expect to rise by 1.5 million tons (on the year) in November-February," it said.

Past shortfalls of Argentine and Brazilian soybeans in this period have been met by the United States, it stressed. "The near to medium term demand prospects for U.S. soybeans are currently brighter than last year, not only due to lesser South American competition but also due to reduced world production of competing oilseeds. We therefore forecast a pronounced growth in U.S. soybean disposals of 3 million tons in November-February of which around 1.5 million tons is seen each in exports and crushings."

"G3 soybean stocks as of end February 2001 will be decimated to 37.4 million tons if the...demand estimates materialize," it said. "This would imply a decline by 1.3 million tons from one and by even 3 million tons from two years earlier and will heighten the dependence on a sizeable increase in South American soybean production early next year."

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