South America Calling

Brazilian Soy Sales Slow In October

By Alastair Stewart

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.



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