Brazil’s rising soybean exports drive production growth
Brazil is a leading global producer and the world’s top exporter of soybeans. Long the second-largest producer following the United States, Brazil’s soybean output is currently forecast to exceed that of the United States by the 2018/19 marketing year. If realized, Brazilian soybean production will have risen by over 22 percent since 2015/16. Almost all of the increased production has made its way to the export market, which has risen 34 percent over the same time. In addition to significant growth in sales to China, Iran, and Russia, domestic conditions in 2018 have also driven up exports. The Brazilian real has lost 20 percent of its value since January 1 2018, and the country experienced a strike by the nation’s truck drivers in May. Since Brazil is highly dependent on truck deliveries, the work stoppage severely disrupted local supply chains. Despite road blockages that also stalled deliveries to ports, Brazilian soybean shipments in May reached a record high. Uninterrupted exports were made possible by an accumulation of soybean stocks at ports prior to the strike. Lengthening ship queues suggest that even more soybeans could have been shipped in the absence of disruptions to port deliveries. This chart appears in the ERS Oil Crops Outlook: June 2018.