Brazilian Soybean Exports Estimates a Record

Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of soybeans. Brazil took over from the United States in 2012 as the top supplier to China, with its exports often attractively priced as it relies on overseas markets for sales due to limited domestic demand and storage. Brazil is expected to produce 115 million tons of soybeans this year, 2.3% more than last year. Brazilian soybean exports estimates a record 68 million tonnes shipped in 2018, according to USDA.

Brazil’s share of soybean exports to China, the world’s top buyer of the commodity, grew to the largest on record in 2017 and looks set to expand again this year, helped by competitive prices and the high protein content of its crops. China, which imports 60 percent of the soybeans traded worldwide, bought 50.93 million tonnes from Brazil in 2017, accounting for 53.3 percent of total purchases.

Total soybean exports in MY 2017/18 (February 2018 to January 2019) are forecast at a record 69 mmt. The record crop in 2017/18 increased the amount of exportable supplies. As a result, Brazil is heavily competing with U.S. soybeans and is expected to continue to take away market share from the United States in 2018. FAS/Brasilia expects strong demand by China, Brazil’s main buyer. The export forecast is slightly lower compared to the previous year due to lower exportable supplies because of higher domestic consumption.

The higher protein levels of Brazilian soybeans, the additional Chinese requirements on foreign matter on U.S. soybeans, and the current trade environment, are expected to help Brazil support higher exports to the Chinese market. The expectation for prices in 2018 was to stay at similar levels as prices in 2017; however, the current drought situation in Argentina is already pushing prices up. For March 2018, prices averaged the highest level since December 2016.

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