Brazilian soybean exports reached a record 4.44 million tons in May, up from the 3.34 million in April and 3.15 million in May 2007, as farmer protests cut shipments from Argentina, according to grain and oilseed traders.
Argentine farmers on strike against the government's increase in export taxes have shut down grain shipments at Rosario port. Trading houses have been switching their orders from Argentina to Brazilian ports, at a time when international buyers are snapping up the South American soy harvest. Brazil's previous monthly record soybean shipment was in July of 2006 when the country moved 4.37 million tons. Meal and soy oil shipments were firm in May also but not at record levels. With a record soy harvest of just under 60 million tons by most counts and strong demand for shipments from abroad, Brazil is expected to export 27.3 million tons of beans, the Vegetable Oils Industry Association (Abiove) said. Other supporting factors for the record May bean exports were likely the end of a port inspectors' strike in the past weeks and large international trading companies' desire to sell stocks rather than pay storage costs. "We have a full Brazilian crop when some traders appear to have opted to export more grain rather than hang on to the beans to make meal and oil later in the year so they can avoid the cost of storage" said Joao Berkhan, director of Centro Grao traders.