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Brazil's soybean crop hits market earlier each year

Danilo Zecchin, Editor of the Canal Rural newspaper in São Paulo, Brazil

After planting an early and highly concentrated soybean crop in 2009/2010, Brazil will harvest in January and February about 35 percent of its production, estimated by several consultants at a record 62.5 million tones.

This means that the first two months of this year, Brazil will harvest 22.7 million tons, compared to 13.3 million tones of the harvest made in the first two months a year ago, a volume equivalent to 23 percent of the Brazilian harvest.

With the early rains at the end of last year, more farmers could plant their crops. Furthermore, the use of varieties with shorter cycle has increased, allowing more soybeans before harvesting.
Year after year the average length of a crop is decreasing, we come to shorten the cycle of soybean genetic work.

In March the analysts estimate that the amount harvest will be even greater, expecting to harvest 30.7 million tones in a single month, when the work is seen reaching its peak in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul and Bahia.

The harvest began in force in Brazil this year in Mato Grosso, the largest national producer. When the month of March arrives, Brazil will have harvested 53.4 million tones, a volume close to production of Argentina, the third largest producer, behind Brazil and the U.S., the Agência Rural analysts estimate.

Analysts believe that the large offer of soybean in a few months has created additional pressure on prices and also have implications in marketing and logistics of harvest. This large amount of soybeans in the first two months is likely to accelerate exports of oilseeds in Brazilian ports. The shipments, which tend to increase from April, should have large volumes in February and March, including the ability to record.

Amid a crop that grows well so far, which indicates a production record, consultancy also expects a faster flowing this season, which can cause logistical problems and high cost of freight in a country with storage still deficient.

According to an evaluation of analysts, the "record crop" in southern Brazil should hender the transportation of soybeans in the Cerrado. Already there is talk an increase of 20 percent in freight rates.

Despite an expectation of a big production, some analysts now admit a decline in productivity in some states. The rains that benefit the development of the crop in Brazil also create conditions of high humidity that favor the devastating fungus Asian Rust. Brazilian producers spent $1.7 billion in fungicide last year to combat the disease and still lost 575.800 tons.

Danilo Zecchin, Editor of the Canal Rural newspaper in São Paulo, Brazil -----------------

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