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Brazil soybean exports to benefit from Argentina drought - crop analyst

By Roberto Samora

LUÍS EDUARDO MAGALHÃES, Brazil, March 21 (Reuters) -
B razil's soybean farmers are poised to export a record volume of
the oilseeds this year as a drought reduces supplies from
neighboring Argentina, André Pessoa, founding partner of
consultancy Agroconsult, said on Tuesday evening.

Hot, dry weather in Argentina, the world's third largest
soybean exporter, has pushed up prices on the Chicago Board of
Trade (CBOT) in recent weeks and boosted prospects for suppliers
like Brazil and the United States in global markets.

Brazil's farmers could export up to 75 million tonnes of
soybeans in 2018, Pessoa told grain growers in the west of
Bahia, speaking on the second day of a crop tour of the Matopiba
region, a new agricultural frontier where about 11 percent of
Brazil's soybeans are grown.

Pessoa said Brazil will likely gain market share this year
as U.S. farmers are expected to channel more soy into soymeal
production, a move designed to take advantage of the gap being
left by Argentina, the world's No 1 soymeal exporter.

But while Brazilian soybean exports may benefit from
Argentina's drought, the potential to increase soymeal sales is
hampered by the fact Brazil's soymeal plants have not been
modernized, Pessoa said.

Agroconsult had estimated earlier in March that Brazil would
export 71.3 million tonnes of soybeans this year thanks to
strong demand from China.

Brazil, the world's top soybean exporter, sold 68 million
tonnes of the oilseeds in global markets in 2017.

Sales to China, the world's biggest soybean importer, are
likely to reach a historical high of 100 million tonnes in the
2017/18 crop cycle, up from 93 million tonnes in the prior
season, driven by demand from the animal feed industry, Pessoa
said.
(Reporting by Roberto Samora
Writing by Ana Mano
Editing by Frances Kerry)

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