Brazil Soybean Exports Seen by Oil World Falling in April

Soybean exports from Brazil are forecast to fall this month after China canceled purchases, the first time in 10 years shipments in April will fall short of deliveries in March, industry researcher Oil World said.

Brazil may ship 5.5 million metric tons of soybeans in April from 6.23 million tons in March, Hamburg-based Oil World wrote in an e-mailed report today. That compares with 7.15 million tons in April 2013, up from 3.54 million tons in the prior month.

China is typically the top buyer of soybeans from the U.S. and Brazil, the biggest growers. China has been importing U.S. soybeans at a record pace, reducing stocks as of March 1 to 27 million tons from 27.16 million tons a year earlier, the lowest for the date since 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported March 31.

“Brazilian exports of soybeans are expected to decline contra-seasonally in April,” Oil World wrote. “This is the result of the recent Chinese cancellations and the prospective reduction in Brazilian shipments to China.”

Last year in May, soybean vessels had been waiting as much as 39 days to load at Brazil’s main port of Santos, and 55 days at Paranagua, the country’s second-largest oilseed port, according to local consulting company SA Commodities.

April soybean exports from neighboring Argentina are predicted to rise to 1.3 million tons from 1.14 million tons in the year-earlier month, while shipments from Uruguay may advance to 800,000 tons from 780,000 tons in April 2013.

The outlook for Brazil’s soybean harvest was raised to 86.2 million tons from a forecast of 84.5 million tons two weeks ago, advancing from 81.5 million tons last year.

Brazilian Harvest

The soybean harvest was “virtually complete” in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest growing state, Oil World said. Farmers gathered 86 percent of beans in Parana and 33 percent of those in Rio Grande do Sul as of April 3, the researcher said.

Farmers planted about 750,000 hectares (1.85 million acres) of soybeans as a second crop, according to Oil World.

“On many fields the second soybean crop was planted after the first crop had been harvested,” Oil World said. “Farmers thus ignored the warnings of agronomists that this would raise the risk of diseases and pests.”

Argentina’s soybean crop will probably turn out lower than last month’s forecast for output of 53.5 million tons compared with 48 million tons a year earlier, the researcher wrote. Some Argentine estimates are for about 52 million tons, Oil World said.

“This expectation is based on the partly surprisingly low yields achieved on the first 15 percent of the area harvested in the main soybean belt,” Oil World said. “Too much rain since January is to be seen as the greatest problem for soybeans in Argentina this year.”

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