Brazil’s soybean harvest will be coming in a little later than normal this season, but farmers are expected to have a bumper crop.
A new Brazilian forecast released Tuesday puts production there for the 2019-20 marketing year at 121.1 million metric tons. That’s a little under the latest USDA forecast of 123 million metric tons. Both forecasts put Brazilian production stronger than U.S. production, which is estimated at 96.6 million tons by USDA (a sharp drop from 120.5 million the previous year).
Brazil produced more soybeans than the U.S. for the 2017-18 marketing year, but U.S. producers beat the South American country for 2018-19 when dry weather impeded Brazil's crop. Brazil’s dominance this year — the harvest is expected to take off in January — is in part due to an increase in planting, but also strong yields, according to a description from Brazil’s agricultural analysis department, known as CONAB.
Brazil has also benefited from the U.S.-China trade war as Chinese tariffs sent importers there looking to buy much more than normal from Brazil. That, in turn, spurred Brazilian farmers to plant more this year. A new Financial Times article quotes Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina da Costa saying: “This unresolved agreement brought a very good momentary opportunity for Brazil.”
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