Delays in Harvest Mean Brazil’s Soy Exports Down 43% Compared 2014
Brazilian soy exports in the first quarter of 2015 are expected to reach 6 million tons, down 43% from 10.4 million in the same period in 2014. This slowing in exports combined with falling soy prices will reduce revenue brought in by one of the nation’s lead exports. According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, in March 2014, Brazilian exporters could sell a ton of soy for US$505. In 2015, the price has dropped approximately 21% to US$397. It’s estimated that exports of this year’s first quarter crop will earn US$2 billion, compared to US$4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014.
The reduction in exports can be attributed to harvesting delays. Only 29% of the planted area had been harvested by the end of February this year, compared to 39% at the same time last year, according to Brazilian consultants, AgRural. Competition from U.S. soy exports and the truck drivers strike may also be slowing exports.
Despite the slow pace in the first quarter, Brazil is expected to catch up and increase exports by 5% over 2014 to 48 million tons. Due to consistently lower prices, however, this will still translate into lower soybean revenue for 2015, bringing in an expected US$17.8 billion this year, 24% less than the US$23.3 billion of revenue they raised in 2014.