Brazil has kept its forecast for the 2014/2015 soybean harvest at a record 96.2mn t in its latest monthly update, up a massive 10.1mn t or 11.6% YoY. Over the past five years Brazil’s annual soybean production has surged 45%.
Conab marked the soybean footprint up 5.9% YoY at 31.94mn ha, 0.6mn ha below USDA’s forecast. The country is expecting to remain heavily dependent on overseas sales to keep carry out stocks down to an estimated 4.25mn t, with foreign buyers expected to purchase 49.12mn t of beans this year compared to 44.63mn t of sales to domestic buyers.
On the foreign demand side, China remains crucial to Brazil’s export prospects, consuming 71% of the country’s exports with purchases of more than 25mn t of soybeans in the first half of this year. FAS pegs China’s full year soybean imports this year at 74mn t rising to 77.5 million ton in the new marketing year. Brazil had exported 42.19mn t of beans up to the first week of August.
China’s rise as a key buyer of Brazilian beans has been a recent phenomenon, with the country barely registering on the Brazilian export front as late as 2010. Exports over the past two years easily breached 30mn t/yr.