BRAZIL- Brazilian soybean acreage and production is forecast to increase in the 2023-24 marketing year after impressive records in 2022-23, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

According to the FAS report, Brazilian producers will expand the soybean planted area to reach 45.2 million hectares(ha) in the 2023/24 season, up from the estimated 43.5 mn ha planted in the 2022/23 season. The cumulative soybean planted area grew by 20%, or 7.1 million hectares, over the last five seasons.

Additionally, the report sees production soaring from 152 million tonnes this year to 159 million tonnes in 2023-24. 

Soybeans expansion is forecast on current market conditions and trends including strong demand, high prices, and a favorable exchange rate,” the FAS said.

Globally, Brazil is the leading producer and exporter of soybeans, accounting for more than 40% of the world’s soybean production, according to the report. 

According to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Brazil Transportation Report, although Brazil exported 9 percent less soybeans in 2022 than in 2021, soybean transportation costs continued to rise.

In 2023-24, Brazil also is expected to set a record for soybean exports at 98.1 million tonnes, up from this year’s record-setting total of 95 million tonnes. According to the report, most of these exports will go to China, Brazil’s biggest soybean buyer, accounting for more than 53% of Brazilian exports during the last marketing year.

The report provided that fuel prices rose in the first half of 2022 and then started to decline in July but remained higher than in 2021, failing to respond to lower State taxes and subsidized prices provided by Petrobras, a state-run oil firm. 

These rises increased the transportation costs and thus the price of exports to China.  

In other news, Brazil has made significant improvements to expand the capacity for shipping exports through the country’s northern and southern ports, a result of a comprehensive infrastructure improvement plan between the Brazilian Government and the private sector. 

These improvements are bound to facilitate the export of Brazillian soybean to cater to international demand. 

Domestic soybean meal production to increase marginally 

The FAS report forecasts 2023/24 soybean meal production at 41.6 MMT, up from the estimated 41 MMT in 2022/23. According to the report, this increased production estimate is inspired by domestic meal demand in line with a recent increase in beef and pork production.

For the next MY, the report forecasts soy oil production at 11.0 MMT up from 10.4 MMT estimates for 2022-23 with domestic oil consumption expected to increase to 8.65 MMT, up from 8.19 MMT in the current season. 

According to the Post, 55.8 MMT of soybeans will be destined for processing in 2023/24 MY, an increase of five percent on the 2022/23 estimate of 53 MMT. 

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