The high price of row crop commodities has slowed the pace of consumption.

As the 2010-11 marketing year enters the final month, there are indications that both soybean and corn consumption will fall short of the most recent USDA projections according to University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good.

The Census Bureau’s July 28, 2011 crush report showed this year’s month of June soybean crush was 4.85 million bushels. That number is 3.8 percent smaller than the crush in June 2010.

Darrel Good said the smaller number is a good example of the crush pace for the marketing year.

“The crush this marketing year has been below that of last year every month except for the first month of the year-September 2010. To reach the USDA projection of 1.65 billion bushels for the year, the total crush in July and August needs to just about equal that of last year. That does not seem likely.”

The Census Bureau also provides the official estimate of soybean exports. Good noted that those estimates are currently only available through May 2011. The June estimate will be released Aug. 11.

Through May, cumulative Census Bureau export estimates for the marketing year that began in September 2010 were almost identical to the cumulative USDA export inspection estimates.

Assuming that relationship continues through August, the agricultural economist believes, export inspection estimates can be used to gauge official export progress.

Through July 28, those estimates showed cumulative exports of 1.447 billion bushels. With just under five weeks left in the marketing year, additional shipments of 73 million bushels, or about 15 million per week, will be needed to reach the USDA projection of 1.52 billion bushels for the year.

As of July 21, unshipped export sales for the current marketing year totaled 124 million bushels. Sales are large enough to meet the USDA projection, but actual shipments have averaged only about 6.2 million bushels per week for the last eight weeks.