Weak Currency, Global Trade Jitters Bolster Brazil Soy Exports

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 3, 2018

© Matyas Rehak / Adobe Stock

© Matyas Rehak / Adobe Stock

Brazil's soybean exports hit record volumes last month, grain exporter association Anec said on Thursday, citing a weak domestic currency and trade tensions between the United States and China for bolstering business for local farmers.

Brazil's April soybean exports reached 11.63 million tonnes, about 1 million tonnes more than the same month last year, Anec said in a report.

"Evidently, with the strength of the dollar, the producer will free up more beans for export," Sérgio Mendes, head of Anec, said in a telephone interview. Soy contracts are priced in dollars.

Brazilian farmers also stand to gain from a drought in Argentina, the world's third largest producer, and China's slowing purchases of U.S. soy as the two countries trade threats over tariffs, he said.

The fresh figures indicate Brazil is on track to remain the world's most prominent soybean exporter and China's largest supplier of the oilseed.

This year, the country is likely to sell 70 million tonnes of soybeans overseas, a new all-time high, according to consultancy INTL FC Stone.

The South American country will receive an estimated $36 billion in export revenue from the so-called soy complex of soybeans, soy oil and soymeal this year, data from soy crusher association Abiove show.

On Wednesday, the government said Brazilian soybean shipments totaled 10.26 million tonnes in April, close to a record of 10.96 million tonnes exported in May 2017.

Anec data differs from numbers released by the government because they are compiled under different methodologies, Mendes said. The government's foreign trade agency Secex compiles the figures based on reported amounts, while Anec export figures reflect actual shipment data.

For the first four months of the year, Brazil's soy exports rose by 5.4 percent to 29.2 million tonnes, the strongest Jan-April reading in history, Anec said.

The government measure released on Wednesday indicated that Brazilian soybean exports were 23.5 million tonnes over the period.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora; writing by Ana Mano;Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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