Brazil's Soybean Exports Accelerate after Slow Start

After a slow start, the pace of Brazil's soybean exports has surged in recent weeks. Total March exports, though 10 percent below last year, are quickly making up lost ground. The delay in shipping reflects the relative slow start in plantings and corresponding later harvest this year.

Producer sales, which were running behind last year, have caught up with historic norms. The lag in early season sales, while influenced by the later harvest, was likely impacted by the precipitous decline in the Real. The decline encouraged some producers to delay selling their crop until the currency stabilized in mid-March.

Despite the slow start, a record harvest is expected to lead to record local year (Feb/Jan) exports this year. However, exports for the adjusted Oct/Sep marketing year are forecast to decline slightly from last year. Weak exports for the first five months resulted in total exports through March running 3.6 million tons or 33 percent behind last year's pace. It is unlikely that exports for the remaining April through September period can offset this shortfall in trade.

OVERVIEW

Global soybean production is raised this month, as a larger crop in Argentina more than offset declines in India. Soybean trade is virtually unchanged. U.S. soybean oil imports were raised to offset declines in palm oil. The USDA Prospective Plantings Report indicated expanded area for 2015/16 as compared to the previous year. The season-average farm price for soybeans is lowered.

SOYBEAN PRICES

U.S. export bids, FOB Gulf, in March averaged $388 per ton, up $12 from the previous month.

As of the week ending March 26, 2014/15 U.S. soybean commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 29.9 million tons compared to 27.7 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 48.5 million tons, compared to 44.5 million for the same period last year.

2014/15 TRADE OUTLOOK

  • Belarus sunflowerseed meal imports are lowered 150,000 tons to 650,000 on slower shipments to date.
  • Canada rapeseed exports are up 200,000 tons to 8.8 million on expected stronger demand.
  • China
    • Soybean meal exports are raised 100,000 tons to 1.8 million on demand from nearby Asian markets due to weaker sales by India.
    • Rapeseed imports are increased 250,000 tons to 4.1 million, while rapeseed oil imports are down 100,000 tons to 900,000 as more oil is being produced domestically from imported rapeseed.
    • Peanut exports are up 100,000 tons to 500,000 reflecting the pace of trade to date.
    • Sunflowerseed oil imports are trimmed 100,000 tons to 400,000 on slower shipments to date.
    • Palm oil imports are lowered 400,000 tons to 5.7 million on a very slow pace of trade to date.
  • European Union
    • Palm kernel meal imports are lowered 300,000 tons to 2.1 million as large supplies of other feed ingredients are currently available.
    • Palm oil imports are reduced 200,000 tons to 6.8 million on slowing demand from the biodiesel sector.
  • India
    • Soybean meal exports are lowered 200,000 tons to 1.5 million on sluggish sales and smaller exportable supplies.
  • Indonesia
    • Palm oil exports are up 200,000 tons to 22.5 million on growing competitiveness.
    • Palm kernel meal exports are down 100,000 tons to 3.9 million on lower demand, mainly from the European Union.
  • Malaysia
    • Palm oil exports are reduced 500,000 tons to 17.2 million on lower production and exportable supplies; imports are raised 100,000 tons to 375,000.
    • Palm kernel meal exports are down 130,000 tons to 2.4 million on lower demand mainly from the European Union.
  • Pakistan rapeseed imports are raised 100,000 tons to 950,000 to reflect increased deliveries and higher demand for crush.
  • Thailand
    • Rapeseed meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 425,000 on trade trends.
    • Palm oil exports are down 100,000 tons to 400,000 on lower production and exportable supplies.
  • Turkey
    • Rapeseed imports are increased 100,000 tons to 400,000 on trade trends.
    • Sunflowerseed imports are down 150,000 tons to 700,000 on smaller supply from Ukraine.
    • Sunflowerseed meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 750,000 in response to a lower crush.
    • Sunflowerseed oil exports are raised 200,000 tons to 600,000 on strong trade to date.
  • Ukraine sunflowerseed exports are lowered 150,000 tons to 50,000 due to growing domestic crush.
  • Uruguay soybean exports are increased 100,000 tons to 3.3 million in response to increased production