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Checking in on Brazil’s soybean harvest

Checking in on Brazil’s soybean harvest

Farmers are projected to harvest 123.2 million tons of soybeans

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Brazilian soybean producers are on their way to a record crop.

Domestic farmers are almost 20 per cent through harvest and are projected to produce 123.2 million tons of soybeans, Brazil’s National Supply Company (Conab) said in a Feb. 11 harvest update.

If that number holds true it would represent an increase of 8.2 million tons compared to Conab’s previous production estimates.

The country’s soybean acreage is also up.

Brazilian farmers planted roughly 90.8 million acres of soybeans in 2019-20. That number represents a 2.6 per cent increase from last year’s seeded acreage of around 88.4 million acres.

Yields may increase as well.

The average yield is pegged at 49.5 bu/ac, up 0.4 bu/ac from Conab’s January report.

If Conab is accurate with Brazil’s estimated soybean production, it would make the country the world’s largest soybean producer for the first time.

“It will be the first year that Brazil surpasses the U.S. in soybean production,” said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Risk Management. “But this news is well known.”

In January, the USDA released a report predicting Brazil would indeed become the world’s top soybean-producing country. The U.S. has held the top spot every year since 1940 except for in 1947 when China produced the most soybeans.

Together, the U.S. and Brazil account for about 82 per cent of global soybean production.

Brazilian producers are also rapidly selling soybeans.

In Mato Grasso, the country’s top soybean-producing state, farmers have sold almost 70 per cent of their 2019-20 crop and 13 per cent of their 2020-21 crop.

“A lower Brazilian real is making South American exports more competitive,” Agostino said. “But everything is already priced into current prices.”

As of Friday morning, one Brazilian real was worth US$0.23.


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