WASHINGTON — U.S. soybean exports in 2013-14 will set a new record, according to revised supply-and-demand forecasts issued by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Feb. 10. The U.S.D.A. forecast U.S. soybean exports in the current year at 1,510 million bus, up 15 million bus from the January projection and up 190 million bus, or 14%, from 1,320 million bus in 2012-13. The previous record U.S. soybean outgo was 1,501 million bus in 2010-11.

The U.S.D.A. in its Oil Crops Outlook issued Feb. 12 commented, “Shipments were record high in each of the last three months. As of Jan. 30, cumulative soybean export inspections totaled an all-time high of 1.16 billion bus. Despite this, outstanding export sales are also still very large (420 million bus) with more than half of the marketing season remaining.

“Another indicator of the export market’s continuing strength is an exceptionally large spread between soybean prices at central Illinois and Gulf export elevators, which now exceed $1 per bu.”

“Once the decline in export shipments does finally occur, it could be sudden and steep,” the U.S.D.A. cautioned. “Its timing will be strongly correlated with an acceleration of soybean exports from Brazil. In line with this eventual decline, a sharp break in the Gulf price is also soon anticipated.”