South America Calling

Brazilian Soy Sales Slow In October

By Alastair Stewart , South America Correspondent

Brazilian farmers opted to concentrate on planting their soybeans in October, leaving the marketing of the crop to one side until prices turned upwards.

As a result, forward sales of the 2013-14 crop are radically behind last year.

As of Oct. 31, producers had committed 34% of their crop, an increase of just three percentage points from the month before, leaving sales some 24 percentage points back on the same point last year, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

With international prices down from the highs seen in September and the Brazilian real recovering from the dive it took in August, farmers chose to wait for a better spot to sell their coming crop.

In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soybean state, forward sales totaled 45% up to Oct. 31 compared with 69% at the same point last year, said AgRural.

In Parana, the No. 2 soy state, forward sales totaled 24%, down from 52% last year.

The October figures continue a trend for slow forward sales this season. Normally farmers would have been forced to sell a much higher percentage of the crop by now to cover operating costs, but this year they are well capitalized after four profitable harvests and can wait.

Business has picked up a little in November, though.

A recovery in soybean futures and a run on the Brazil real over the last week has caused local prices to rise. Beans were quoted at R$65 per 60-kilogram bag ($12.63 per bushel) in Sorriso, Mato Grosso, on Monday, up 4.8% on the week and 7.4% on the year.

With the crop developing well in most areas, farmers have responded by offering more lots in the last couple of days. After all, they still have two-thirds of the crop to fix with the start of the harvest just two months away.

(AG)

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