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Montevideo, May 23rd 2018 - 03:21 UTC

Brazil becomes world's largest producer of soybeans for the first time

Saturday, May 12th 2018 - 08:45 UTC
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Brazilian farmers have practically finished harvesting their soy for the 2017/18 crop year, which kicked off in September, as US is just beginning to plant its 2018 crop. Brazilian farmers have practically finished harvesting their soy for the 2017/18 crop year, which kicked off in September, as US is just beginning to plant its 2018 crop.

Brazil will surpass the United States as the largest producer of soybeans this year, taking over the top ranking for the first time in history, oilseeds crusher group Abiove said on Friday. The U.S. is expected to harvest 116.48 million tons of soybeans later on in 2018, falling short of Brazil’s estimated collection of 117 million tons for its crop year that is just drawing to a close, Abiove said, citing United States Department of Agriculture figures released on Thursday.

Brazil, already the world’s largest soybean exporter, is expected to expand this lead in the coming years thanks to its unique ability to expand planted area, Abiove said.

“The Americans already are using the maximum possible (area),” said André Nassar, president of Abiove, in an interview.

Brazilian farmers have practically finished harvesting their soy for the 2017/18 crop year, which kicked off in September, as the U.S. is just beginning to plant its 2018 crop.

Private consultancy figures place Brazil even further ahead this year, drawing near to the record 2017 U.S. crop of 119.5 million tons. Abiove itself revised its soybean crop estimate to 118.4 million tons on Friday, up 0.9% from its own April forecast.

Brazil’s toppling of the United States as the world’s largest soybean producer stems from logistical improvements, gains from planting second corn as a rotation crop, all of which increase farmer yields, Abiove said.

Brazil is expected to post further gains thanks to ample area to expand planting, as it has been growing its planted area at a pace between 500,000 and 700,000 hectares per year. By growing 500,000 hectares, it can add up to 2 million tons of soy to the market per season.

“This is something the Americans are unable to do. The area there expands and contracts because of the competition between soy and corn” for planted area, Nassar said.

US soybean farmers are expected to reduce harvested area by 1.45% in the current marketing year, to 35.7 million hectares, according to the USDA. Brazil’s own planted area is 35.09 million hectares, according to Brazilian government data.

Brazil could open up new land for agriculture transforming pastures into grain fields, Nassar said. Such spaces already exist and using them would not contribute to deforestation.

Brazil, already the world’s largest soybean exporter, is expected to expand this lead in the coming years thanks to its unique ability to expand planted area, Abiove said.

“The Americans already are using the maximum possible (area),” said André Nassar, president of Abiove, in an interview.

Categories: Agriculture, Brazil.

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