Brazilian Soybean and Its Meal Exports Hit a Record High


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Brazilian Soybean production may increase in the 2022/23 crop, reaching a record of 152.6 million tons, almost 20% more than that achieved in the previous cycle, according to Consulting firm StoneX. This record would result from a 4% growth in the planted area. 

The consultancy points out that area increases are forecast for all regions of the country, a trend observed in recent years. Although uncertainties are floating around the market, StoneX estimates that Soybean exports could reach 100 million tons next year.

According to a survey of planting intentions by SAFRAS & Mercado, national Soybean farmers should cultivate 42.88 million hectares in 2022/23, the largest area in history, growing 2.6% over the total sown this year of 41.8 million hectares. With a possible increase in productivity, from 3,027 kg to 3,550 kg per hectare (~3 to 3.5 mt/ha), national production should be above that obtained this season.

Domestic consumption should also continue advancing, ending stocks estimated at 6.5 million tons. There is an increase in domestic consumption with an emphasis on demand from the ethanol sector.

In Mato Grosso, the state that leads the national Soybean production, there was an increase of 1 million hectares in the planted area in the last four years. For the 2021/2022 cycle, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) projected the cultivation of 10.8 million hectares, an increase of 3.2% from the previous one. The growth should occur mainly due to the option to cultivate Soybeans in the most peripheral areas of Mato Grosso. The state will likely produce a record 38 million tons this season.

Soybean export volumes by tons

Brazilian Soybean Exports

The National Association of Grain Exports (ANEC) reported that the country yielded an all-time high of 137.1 million tons of Soybeans in the 2020/21 harvest. According to the ANEC, Soybean export shipments rose from 82.3 million tons in 2020 to an impressive 86.6 million tons in 2021. In terms of value, Soybean FOB sales went from US$ 28.6 billion in 2020 to US$ 38.6 billion in the last year, according to data from the Foreign Trade Secretariat.

Most of these shipments departed Brazilian ports between March and early June. The leading Soybean exporting ports were Santos (27%), Paranaguá (15%), and Rio Grande (15%), followed by Itaqui (12%) and Barcarena (10%).

About 70% of the 2021 Soybean shipments were bound for China, most of them leaving from Brazil’s southern ports via the Cape of Good Hope. According to the AgFlow data, Brazil shipped 89 million tons of Soybeans in Jan-Aug 2022. 

Soybean meal exports also reached record production and export in 2021, ending the year with 16.9 million tons shipped abroad, mainly departing from Santos (41%), Paranaguá (29%), Rio Grande (16%), and Aratu (7%). According to ANEC, the largest buyers of Brazil Soybean meal were Thailand (15%), Indonesia (13%), the Netherlands (11%), South Korea (9%), and France (9%).

In a recently released analysis, Itaú BBA projected firm prices for Soybeans in the 2021/2022 harvest. Soybean prices keep an upward trend due to the replenishing of stocks in importing countries amid heated demand for Brazilian agro-products, especially those used for animal feed.

As of 31 August, Soybean prices rose in the Brazilian physical market, following the dollar rise against the Real, despite the price fall in Chicago. In Passo Fundo (RS), the 60-kilo bag rose from R$184 to R$185, while at the port of Paranaguá (PR), the bag appreciated from R$189 to R$192.5. In Cascavel, Paraná, the price went from R$182.5 to R$186, whereas in Rondonópolis (MT), the bag increased from R$164.5 to R$173.



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