Feb 01, 2021

Brazil to Export Fewer Soybeans in February than Expected

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The lineup of vessels in Brazil would suggest that Brazil was expected to export 8 million tons of soybeans during the month of February according to data from the maritime agency Cargonave and reported by Reuters. But, there are concerns that the volume of available soybeans will not be enough to support that level of exports.

A series of factors that could limit the early export of soybeans from Brazil including: delayed soybean planting which will delay the soybean harvest, prolonged periods of wet weather just as the early soybeans are ready for harvest, and a potential strike by truck drivers disrupting the initial transport of the newly harvested soybeans to Brazilian ports.

Last year, at the beginning of February 2020, the vessel lineup indicated that there could be 8.5 million tons of soybeans exported during February, but in the end, only 4.8 million tons were exported in February of 2020. On February 1, 2020 the Brazilian soybeans were 9% harvested and this year only approximately 2% of Brazil's soybeans have been harvested. In the state of Mato Grosso, which is the largest soybean producing state in Brazil, the soybeans are currently 4.7% harvested compared to last year on February 1st when the soybeans were 26.6% harvested.

Therefore, if the soybeans are being harvested significantly slower than last year, and last year Brazil exported 4.8 million tons of soybeans during February, there is virtually no possibility that Brazil will export 8 million tons of soybeans during February of 2021. It would be lucky if half that amount will be exported during February.

In all likelihood, March will be the first big month of Brazilian soybean exports. If everything works perfectly during March, Brazil could export more than 14 million tons of soybeans per month, similar to April of last year.

There are virtually no old crop soybeans in Brazil left to export. The National Association of Cereal Exporters (Anec) reported that Brazil exported only 225,000 tons of soybeans in January, which was down 86% compared to last year. As a result, in January, the U.S. exported additional soybeans what would have normally came from Brazil, and the same may happen during February.

The director of Anec estimates that Brazil will export 82 million tons of soybeans in 2021 and 34 million tons of corn.