Brazil's Conab says soybean crop to hit 110.4m mt, exports 65m mt

11 Jan 2018 | Andy Allan

Brazil’s food statistics agency Conab has revised upwards its estimate of the nation’s soybean crop by 1.2 million mt to 110.4 million mt, according to data released Thursday, in a move that falls slightly short of most analysts' expectations.

The figures, if correct, mean that Brazil will produce its second-biggest crop this marketing year, down 3.2% from the 2016/2017 season when it produced 114.1 million mt.

Meanwhile, the agency said exports would reach 65 million mt, up 1 million mt from its previous estimate, but down 4.5% on the year.

The figures are closely watched by the global agriculture industry, which has been anticipating a rise in production as a result of favourable growing weather at crucial stages of bean formation.

The industry, according to a survey by Bloomberg, had expected a forecast of 110-114.7 million mt, with an average analyst estimation of 111.8 million mt.

Earlier on Thursday, private consultancy firm AgRural had estimated the crop to be 114 million mt.

The reduction in exports year-on-year would be welcome relief to US farmers, which have lost market share in China, the world's biggest importer, as a result of higher Brazilian exports.

But more worrying data could be on the horizon for farmers in the form of the USDA's WASDE - which is widely expected to write down US exports of soybean and show a build in US stocks.

According to a poll of analysts conducted by Reuters, the USDA is expected to estimate an increase in ending stocks to 472 million bushels (12 million mt), although some analysts expect this to hit 543 million bushels.

In terms of corn, Conab expects production to reach 92.3 million mt, broadly in line with its previous estimate of 92.2 million mt.