Soy prices to impact Brazil's producers

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, Us

Brazil, a leading exporter of soybeans and key competitor with the
US, is worried that rising production costs for soybeans could eat
into local farm profits next season, while global stocks rise,
according to fresh figures from the US government.

Agriculture minister Roberto Rodrigues said he would wait to see if international prices reacted in the next couple of months before deciding which steps the government would take to ensure production.

ASA​ reports that the price of imported crop inputs has risen by up to 30 per cent since last year because of international price hikes and rising freight rates.

Rodriguez added that Brazil, along with the US and Argentina, has formally asked major soybean importer China to loosen sanitary rules governing the importation of soybeans.

Brazilian soybean exporters have severely suffered as a result of China's stringent rules, which saw the Chinese authorities temporarily banning imports of Brazilian beans from up to 23 trading companies between April and June after a small number of fungicide-tainted seeds were discovered.

Fresh figures from the August WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) report released last week by the US government suggests that wheat, corn and soy stocks should rise significantly this year on the back of improved harvests across the globe.

Fifteen-year-high global prices for soybeans have squeezed margins and sliced into profits for many ingredients suppliers and food makers operating in today's global market. However, an increase in global stocks - by 3.2m mt and a 7 per cent rise on last month's WASDE estimate - could equate to a relief in prices.

"Overall, the estimated global stocks-to-use ratio rose by six days to 88 days, which would be the highest level in 18 years and the second highest on record,"​ reports Goldman Sachs, adding that it had argued for several months that soybean prices "were too high given the robust global stock levels."

But the WASDE report projected that US soybean stocks for 2004/05 would be reduced by 0.5m mt to 5.2m mt. Estimated production in the US was cut by 1.7m mt, only partly offset by a decline domestic consumption and exports.

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