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Brazil's Amaggi has sold more than half of its 2022/23 soybean crop, executive says

By Nayara Figueiredo

SAO PAULO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Amaggi, one of Brazil's largest agribusiness conglomerates, has already sold nearly 60% of the soybean it expects to harvest in 2022/23, a level exceeding the average of most farmers as it pushes for a "conservative strategy" matching grain sales and input purchases.

The pace of privately owned Amaggi's forward sales so far has been roughly twice the average seen in Mato Grosso, Brazil's top grain producing state and where most of the company's agricultural operations are located.

When compared to the whole country, Amaggi's sales have exceeded the Brazilian average by 40 percentage points, according to consultancy Datagro.

"We sell to cover costs," Amaggi's director of agricultural operations, Pedro Valente, said in an interview. "Historically we are in line with what we do every year. But that is not always in line with what the market is doing."

Valente said that Amaggi's goal was to make sure it could control costs by selling grains at the "best moments."

The company, owned by the family of former Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, also processes and trades grains, with worldwide sales reaching 18 million tonnes per year. It has offices in Argentina, Paraguay, China, Singapore and the Netherlands.

Amaggi expects its 2022/23 grain crop - comprising soybean, corn and cotton - to reach a total 1.55 million tonnes, up 30.6% from the previous season, while the planted area was seen growing 5.6% to 381,154 hectares.

Valente said the company initially planned to keep its soybean area at the same 175,000 hectares (432,430 acres) planted last season, but later decided to cut it to 170,600 hectares (421,560 acres) and plant more cotton, the crop seen by the company as its most important.

Cotton 2022/23 forward sales have also reached nearly 60% so far, Valente said, while those of corn were at 35%. (Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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