Argentina is pushing to increase agricultural trade with commodities-hungry China, as farmers on the country’s Pampas grains belt prepare for what is expected to be a bumper soybean harvest over the weeks ahead.
In Uruguay, non-genetically modified soy (GMO) soy is being developed in order to compete in a market saturated by the volume of crops in the region. Nevertheless, the country’s government hopes Uruguayan soy will stand out for its quality rather than for the volume of harvests motivating soy producers to use “biological controls” to combat pests.
Soybean growers in Argentina are playing a waiting game, wagering on better prices ahead as the U.S. and China inch toward a trade deal and as nation’s currency keeps depreciating. Farmers on the Pampas arable belt have signed delayed-price contracts for almost three quarters of the 12.2 million metric tons they’ve sold to crushers and exporters so far, according to government data. That compares with 60% at the same stage last year.
Brazil is poised to export more corn than soybeans for the first time in a year this January, although sales of the oilseed remain high for the period, according to government and shipping data.
Analysts are casting doubt on the Brazilian government’s soybean production estimate. Conab, the government’s food supply and statistics agency, recently issued a forecast for 118.8 million tons of production, only slightly smaller than last year’s record 119.4 million tons.
Brazil is prepared in the event China removes tariffs on U.S. soy, which had driven down prices for the oilseed in Chicago and driven up the premiums over U.S. prices paid for Brazilian beans, outgoing Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Friday.
Brazil, the world's No 1 soy exporter, is expected to import around one million tons of the oilseed in coming months from its largest global competitor, the United States, as local supplies dwindle, according to Sao Paulo-based grain trader Agribrasil.
Brazilian farmers sped up soy and corn plantings this week for the country’s next grain crop, under favorable weather conditions and a positive market outlook, despite a sharp fall in soybean futures in Chicago on Tuesday. Soybean planting in Brazil’s second-largest producing state of Paraná reached 9% of the expected final area this week, up 8 percentage points from last week and compared to only 1 percent at this time last year, as ample soil moisture allowed for a quick start of fieldwork.
An annual U.S. soy exporters' conference wrapped up on Wednesday without any known sales to Chinese buyers, in sharp contrast to previous years when billions of dollars of the main U.S. cash crop have been signed over to China in elaborate ceremonies.
China can increase soybean imports from other countries to reduce reliance on buying from the United States, the president of state grains trader COFCO said in an interview with the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily paper on Wednesday.