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333614

Brazil's soy growers upbeat on new crop as planting imminent

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - On the eve of sowing what could be a record 150 million-tonne soybean crop, Brazilian farmers are optimistic after a drought spoiled part of last season's output, input costs soared and Chinese demand weakened.

Jose Soares, a grower in Mato Grosso, sees domestic production potentially recovering and shoring up world soy stockpiles.

"The hope is that the next South American crop will be a record, helping lift global inventories," he said.

Hundreds of miles to the south, Aldo Hanel, a grower in Parana, is keen to stave off "frustration" from the last season by planting his entire area with soy this summer.

Cayron Giacomelli, in north Mato Grosso, said he will reduce fertilizer applications by 20% to save on costs. While he may start planting on irrigated areas of his farm this week, sowing can only gather pace after Sept. 20 - if it rains a forecast 70 to 80 millimeters (3 inches).

"The expectation is positive after a difficult last season," Giacomelli noted.

Not too far from his farm, grower Evandro Lermen said most of his sowing will be done in October, as rainfall intensifies.

Unlike in previous seasons, however, Lermen said he will wait to sell his future crop due in part to uncertainty related to Brazil's October election and foreign exchange volatility.

Marcos da Rosa farms soy in east Mato Grosso and will likely begin to plant after Oct. 8, when the weather cools down.

He said none of his future crop is sold as "prices (are) not worth it."

Last week, consultancy Datagro estimated 16.2% of Brazil's 2022/2023 expected soy crop had been traded in, 9.1 points below a historical average.

Exports of Brazil's 2022 soy crop fell to 77 million tonnes from 86.1 million tonnes in 2021, according to Abiove, an oilseed crushers group.

"Spot and future crop sales are not going well," grower Giacomelli said. "The Chinese are withdrawn." (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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