Brazil is forecast to surpass the United States as the world’s largest soybean producer for the first time in 2013/14 (September/August), the result of dry U.S. weather and prospects for continued price-driven expansion in Brazilian plantings. For 2013/14, U.S. soybean yields are now forecast at 41.2 bushels/acre, down from the previous forecast of 42.6 bushels but still above the 2012/13 drought-damaged yield of 39.6 bushels. Dry weather in the U.S. Midwest during August led USDA to cut soybean yield forecasts for 13 States, with the largest reductions in Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The dimmer outlook for U.S. production has increased global soybean prices, making soybeans even more price-competitive with other crop alternatives. In Brazil, prices faced by producers have also been reinforced by currency depreciation versus the U.S. dollar, with Brazil’s real falling 17 percent against the dollar since April 2013. Brazil’s farmers will soon begin planting the 2013/14 soybean crop, with funds on hand from last year’s bumper harvests and facing attractive prices. Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean area is forecast to rise 4 percent to 28.9 million hectares, with production growing to a record 88 million tons—up 6 million from the 2012/13 crop of 82 million tons. This chart can be found in the Oil Crops Chart Gallery with analysis in the Oil Crops Outlook: September 2013.
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