Brazil soy crop seen up 9 pct at record 89.1 million tonnes

Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean crop that starts planting in September is expected to grow by 9 per cent under normal weather conditions to a record 89.1 million tonnes, local crop analyst AgRural said.

AgRural said in its first report on the new crop, which it released over the weekend, that early indicators show soybean area will grow 6 per cent to 29.5 million hectares (73 mln acres) next season.

AgRural said the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the Brazilian real so far this year has offset the decline in soybean prices and kept planting of the crop economically attractive to producers.

The biggest expansion in absolute terms will occur in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest soybean producing state located in the center-west, with an additional 592,000 hectares. The state, which already plants 7.8 million hectares with soybeans, has large reserves of degraded pasture that is being converted into farmland through the application of lime and fertilizers.

Expansion in soybean planting will also occur in the southern grain states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana, where producers will be switching a greater share of their first, or summer, corn crop to soybeans and planting more corn during the second, or winter, crop season, AgRural data showed.

Summer crop corn area is expected to fall by 13 per cent from this year’s 6.89 million hectares, the analyst said.

Late last week, rival analyst Safras e Mercado released its first forecast of the new soy crop, seeing output at a record 88.17 million tonnes, up 7 per cent from this year’s output.

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