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Paraguay ups South America's soy output

Agriculture.com Staff 02/24/2010 @ 10:24am

YGUAZU, (Paraguay)--Paraguay is becoming a respectable soybean producing country in South America, shows a country-wide survey conducted by the RPC Crop Expedition PRC (a Brazilian media company).

In addition to the abundant soybean production expected in Brazil and Argentina, the producers from Paraguay show that the country - the fourth largest exporter of this grain - is taking record harvest this year. They are in the middle of harvest and the productivity has reached 4 tons per hectare.

Paraguay is going to harvest 7.1 million of tons of soybeans. Together, the three countries from South America are expected to reach 126 million tons – 33 million more than last year. The climate seems to be better for the Paraguay fields than for the Brazilian and Argentines, where the rain reduced the sunlight received by plants. It is rare for soybeans to reach a yield of 4 tons per hectare in South America.

Brazilian producers living in Paraguay, the majority in the eastern region of the neighboring country, hope to recover lost income this year. In 2009, farmers in Paraguay harvested 3.9 million tons of soybeans, vs. the 7.1 million expected this year. The profit margin should be more than one-third. Nearly 70% of the soybean production will be exported, according to the national association of grains producer, called Capeco.

One of the advantages to produce in Paraguay, in addition to cheap land, is being allowed to buy inputs and sell the beans in US dollars, without conversion to local currency. The disadvantage is the political and social instability. For each Brazilian producer, there is a landless Paraguayan.

"We are very well provided with land and technology for agriculture in Paraguay, after 30 years of work to structure the crops", said Jovino Presse, a Brazilian living in Mbaracayu (Alto Parana). He bought land from 23 small producers to gather 400 hectares of crop, which should yield more than 1.6 tons of soybeans this season.

Even with few industries, Paraguay exports 70% of the soybean and 60% of the corn production. Most of the corn exports (55%) goes to Brazil and most of the soybean exported (95%) enters Argentina by Parana river to get to European Union (50%) and other regions.

YGUAZU, (Paraguay)--Paraguay is becoming a respectable soybean producing country in South America, shows a country-wide survey conducted by the RPC Crop Expedition PRC (a Brazilian media company).

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