Brazil to overtake US as world’s largest soy exporter in 2006

15 February 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 15 Feb – Brazil will overtake the United States (US) and, for the first time, be the world’s largest soy exporter in 2006, analysts predicted Tuesday.

The forecast points to Brazilian soy exports of 26.07 million tons, while the US is expected to export 24.77 million tons.

Sector analysts have said that the trend is for Brazil to affirm its position as an exporter while the US is expected to direct production to the domestic market.

Analyst Anderson Galvão, from Brazilian consultancy Céleres, quoted by Brazilian financial newspaper Gazeta Mercantil, said that the US has restrictions on increasing its soy fields, whereas in Brazil this was not the case.

According to Galvão, the disparity is becoming greater as US producers focus more on producing maize, a cereal used in manufacturing fuel ethanol.

Another factor is that the US food industry and biodiesel production in the US make more use of soy oil than in Brazil.

The problems caused by Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Southern coast of the US in August 2005 also reduced the exports of soy from the country.

“Brazil exported a lot of soy grain between October last year and January of this year, a period in which the US has historically been more competitive,” said specialist Gonzalo Terracini.

Last year, Brazil was the second largest exporter of soy to China, after the United States.

Brazilian soy exports to China rose 41.6 percent, against 2004, to 8 million tons, a third of the total 26.6 million tons imported by the country.

The US exported 11 million tons of soy to China, or 41 percent of the total. (macauhub)