Roughly 30,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans are set to arrive in the Paranagua port in southern Brazil Thursday, demonstrating just how much Brazil — the world’s largest soybean producing and exporting country — has over-exported its large crop this year.
The shipment being sent by Louis Dreyfus will be loaded onto trucks in Parangua and hauled more than 100 miles from the port to a crusher in Ponta Grosso, says John Baize, an analyst for the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
It’s an expensive endeavor for what should be home to plentiful supplies of soybeans in most years, but between the weak domestic currency and heightened demand from China early on in the year, Brazilian farmers sold their crops fast.
“Soymeal is going to be hard to find between now and harvest down there,” said Baize. “They don’t have any soybeans.”
Brazil is also a major livestock country, producing and exporting beef and poultry around the globe.
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Brazil’s next harvest will begin in earnest in January, but analysts are already expecting yields will drop this year due to dryer than normal conditions in portions of the states of Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul.
The Brazilian ag analysis company AgRural is still predicting Brazil will produce 131 million metric tons of soybeans next year, but Baize said he would be surprised if the country produced more than 120 million tons.
As to this year, the Brazilian government has been paving the way for soybean imports out of concern for rising food prices. Just last week, Brazil lifted its prohibition that forbid biodiesel producers there from using imported soybeans and soy oil to make fuel. Last month, Brazil dropped its import tariffs on soybeans from the U.S. and elsewhere outside the Mercosur trade bloc in South America.
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