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Delays in Harvest Mean Soy Exports Down 43% Compared to First Quarter of 2014

03/24/2015 - 09h39

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MAURO ZAFALON
FOLHA COLUMNIST

Soy is currently being exported at a much slower pace than last year. This means less revenue for the country, with soy currently the flagship product in Brazil's trade balance.

From January to March 2014, 10.4 million tonnes of soy were exported. In the first quarter of this year, the figure is likely to be less than 6 million tonnes, a reduction of 43% compared with the same period last year.

This means that soy exports are going to bring in around US$2 billion, compared to US$4.5 billion from the first quarter last year.

However, this reduction is not only due to the fall in exports. Brazilian exporters are not obtaining the same prices they were last year. In March last year, a tonne of soy was valued at US$505, according to the Ministry of Foreign Trade. This year, the value is just US$397.

Daniele Siqueira, from AgRural, says that the reduction in the volume exported is due to delays in collection of this year's harvest. By the end of February 2014, 39% of the planted area had been harvested, compared to just 29% this year.

Another factor that is threatening Brazilian exports is the rapid pace of the American market. For Siqueira, importers tend to look first to the United States, then to South America. She also suggested that the truck drivers' strike may have reduced the speed of Brazilian exports.

Nonetheless, Brazil should catch up. The Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (Abiove) predicts that Brazil will export 48 million tonnes of soy this year, 5% more than in 2014.

However, even if the volume of exports exceeds last year, revenue will not be as high. Soybeans are likely to bring in US$17.8 billion this year, 24% less than the US$23.3 billion of revenue they raised in 2014.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

Editoria de Arte/Folhapress

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