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Brazil Soybean Output Seen Topping Forecasts as Rains Return

18:00PM Dec 10, 2014

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean output in Brazil, the world’s top exporter, is poised to top previous expectations on increased planting and regular rains after an early-season drought, the government forecaster said.

Growers may reap a record 95.8 million metric tons of the oilseed used in everything from animal feed to fruit beverages in the 2014-2015 season, an 11 percent increase from 86.1 million tons last season, Conab said today in its third forecast for the crop. The agency had estimated a crop as big as 91.7 million tons in the past month.

Farmers are expanding soy planting by as much as 4.9 percent this year, mostly in areas previously used for corn as the oilseed is more profitable in most of the country. The soybean planting area is now seen reaching 31.7 million hectares, up from the 31.3 million hectares forecast in November, Conab said.

Yields are seen reaching 3,026 kilograms (6,671 pounds) per hectare, a 6 percent increase from last season and the highest since 2010-2011, according to data on Conab’s website. That compares to a November estimate of 2,894 kilograms a hectare.

While an early drought postponed sowing this year, regular rains are expected to boost crops.

“Weather conditions are favorable in the most important farming regions,” Conab said.

Planting in Brazil’s new agricultural frontiers such as Para and Tocantins states was bigger than expected, Lucas Brunetti, an analyst at the Sao Paulo-based investment bank Banco Pine, said in a research note yesterday.

Brazil soybean planting was 92 percent complete as of Dec. 5 and should be finished by next week, crop forecaster Safras & Mercado said on Dec. 8.

Conab’s forecast should have a limited effect on prices today as the crop size is still unclear, according to Vinicius Ito, an analyst at Jefferies Bache LLC.

“January is the most critical month for the crop,” Ito said by phone from New York. “The crop is still not in hand.”


To contact the reporter on this story: Gerson Freitas Jr. in São Paulo at To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at Jim Efstathiou Jr., Simon Casey