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Corn+Soybean Digest

Brock Online Notes

Brazil Pegs Soy Crop Near 60 MMT

Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry issued its first official estimate of that country’s next soybean crop last week, pegging production at a record 59.5-60.8 million metric tons.

At 60.2 million tons (2.212 billion bushels), the midpoint of that range is 21% above last year’s Brazilian crop, but is below most private estimates out of Brazil and is 6.7% below USDA’s estimate of Brazil’s 2004-2005 crop.

Soybean plantings are expected to rise modestly by about 5% to 22-22.5 million hectares (54.4-55.6 million acres), according to the ministry’s National Commodities Supply Corp. (CONAB).

CONAB attributed the growth in plantings to the lack of a “real alternative to soybeans rather than to planting soybeans being attractive.”

CONAB pegged Brazil’s main 2004-2005 corn crop at 32.2-32.6 million metric tons (1.268-1.284 million bushels), up from 31.6 million tons last year due to improved yields. But plantings are seen falling to 9.2-9.3 million hectares (22.7-23 million acres) from last year’s 9.5 million.

Total grain and oilseed production for 2004-2005 is expected to hit 128.9-130.9 million tons, up from 119.3 million tons last year, almost exclusively because of the growth in soybean plantings.

Total crop area for 2004-2005 is pegged at 47.9-48.6 million hectares, up from 47.5 million hectares.

That modest expansion of plantings is much less than what CONAB initially predicted last summer. In July, the agency forecast a 3-million-hectare jump in crop area. Rising production costs and lower prices for soybeans, corn and cotton have discouraged farmers from expanding.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.

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