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Brazil's Sep 1-18 soybean exports surge 36% on year to 3.5 mil mt


China buying bulk of Brazilian soybeans

September exports likely to surpass last year's volume: analysts

  • Author
  • Asim Anand
  • Editor
  • Surbhi Prasad
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture

Brazil's soybean exports so far in September have surpassed the shipped volumes in the same period a year earlier amid strong trade momentum, commodity analysts said, likely supporting basis prices.

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According to the latest data from Brazil's foreign trade department, Secex, the country shipped out 3.5 million mt of soybeans over Sept. 1-18, up 36% on the year.

On the back of ample domestic supplies and competitive pricing, along with robust demand from China, the South American country has been shipping out the yellow oilseed in large volumes in 2023, market analysts said.

According to the Secex data, Brazil has exported 80.85 million mt of soybeans between January and August this year, up 21.6% on the year. China has accounted for a lion's share of the shipments at 70.1% in this period, the data showed.

Between March and early July, Brazilian soybeans have been sold at a steep discount of nearly $40/mt to soybeans from its top competitor, the US, analysts said, leading to significant surge in year-on-year exports.

However, recently, US soybean basis prices have become more competitive before the start of harvesting in September.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed SOYBEX FOB Santos for November deliveries at $524.26/mt and SOYBEX FOB New Orleans at $517.63/mt Sept. 18.

Sep exports likely to surpass last year

With strong export momentum so far in September, Brazil is likely to comfortably surpass last year's monthly volume of 4 million mt, market analysts said. The South American nation has been exceeding last year's monthly exports since March, which indicates robust demand for the oilseed, they said.

After a slow start to the year amid sluggish harvest, Brazilian soybean exports have surged since March on the back of record supplies and robust demand.

Brazil shipped out 6 million mt of soybeans cumulatively between January and February, down 31% on the year, Secex data showed.

But since March, the export volumes started showing an uptick as the country shipped out 13.3 million mt, 9% higher year on year, while in April, the export volumes rose 25% on the year to 14.34 million mt, the data showed.

In May, the world's top soybean supplier, exported 15.6 million mt of soybeans, which also marked a 9% increase on the month, Secex data showed, while June showed an upsurge of 39% on the year to 13.87 million mt.

In July, the Brazilian soybean exports maintained its momentum and shipped out 9.9 million mt of soybeans in July, up 32% on the year.

The export momentum continued in August as 8.6 million mt of the oilseeds were exported, up 45% on the year, analysts said, with a bulk of oilseed shipments heading for China, the world's top importer of the product.

Steady demand from China, coupled with supply woes in drought-hit Argentina, suggest Brazil is on course for a hefty export volume in the 2022-23 marketing year (January-December 2023).

Brazil is forecast to produce a record 154.6 million mt in MY 2022-23 and to export an all-time high 97 million mt, up 25% year on year, according to the latest estimates of Brazilian national supply company CONAB.

In fact, some local commodity consultancies are forecasting Brazil's soybeans exports to surpass 97 million mt in MY 2022-23 amid US production woes and drying Mississippi River.