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Brazilian soybean exports seizing a Chinese opportunity

08 June 20182 min reading
The slowdown in U.S. soybeans exports, combined with record crops in Brazil and a production shortfall in Argentina created an opportunity for Brazil to expand its footprint in China. For the 2017/18 marketing year, Brazilian soybean exports are projected at a record-high 2.7 billion bushelsindir. For many reasons, Brazilian exports of soybeans to China are surging. First, following a record soybean crop of 4.19 billion bushels in 2016/17, Brazilian soybean ending stocks reached a record-high of approximately 940 million bushels. Then, Brazilian soybean farmers are expected to top that record with a crop of 4.23 billion bushels for the 2017/18 marketing year. Given two back-to-back record harvests, and record-large inventory levels, the increase in Brazilian soybean exports was no surprise. For the 2017/18 marketing year, Brazilian soybean exports are projected at a record-high 2.7 billion bushels, marking the eighth consecutive year of record soybean exports. Meanwhile, following back-to-back record soybean crops in the U.S., soybean exports are projected to fall 5 percent in 2017/18 to 2.1 billion bushels. Due to reduced export volumes, U.S. soybean ending stocks are projected at 550 million bushels – the second-highest on record behind 574 million bushels in 2006/07. The slowdown in U.S. exports, combined with record crops in Brazil and a production shortfall in Argentina created an opportunity for Brazil to expand its footprint in China. Chinese soybean imports in 2017/18 are projected at a record-high 3.56 billion bushels, up 4 percent from the prior year. Through March of the 2017/18 marketing year, Brazilian soybean exports have totaled 741 million bushels, up 126 percent over prior marketing-year levels, and up 130 percent over the 5-year average. Meanwhile, U.S. exports to China through March total 932 million bushels of soybeans, down 23 percent from prior-year levels but down only 2 percent from the 5-year average.        
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