Southern Brazil port gets first soy import cargo in 10 years

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A vessel carrying 30,500 tonnes of soybeans produced in the United States is due to arrive on Friday in Brazil, according to the Paranaguá port authority, as the nation makes a rare purchase from North America amid tight supplies.

This year, Brazil sold huge soybean volumes to top importer China, leaving little for domestic consumption. The situation led to a rise in livestock feed prices and fueled domestic food inflation.

The authority said the Discoverer will bring in the first imported soy cargo via the Paranaguá port in at least a decade. The vessel is expected to moor between Dec. 7 and Dec. 15 and will be inspected before unloading at the rate of 6,000 tonnes per day.

The Discoverer was chartered by Louis Dreyfus Co, shipping data show. Its arrival marks a change in paradigm for Brazil, one of the world's biggest food exporters. Though a tiny amount by global trading standards, 30,500 tonnes represent the most U.S. soy Brazil has purchased since 1997.

Brazil temporarily suspended import duties on soybeans from countries outside the Mercosur trade bloc on Oct. 16. The country is poised to import 1 million tonnes in 2020, according to oilseeds crushing group Abiove, the most since at least 2008.

The importing of genetically modified (GMO) soy by Brazil from the United States could bring regulatory risks, as both countries approach the approval of biotech seeds differently, said Brazil's oilseeds crushers' group Abiove.

For example, GMO soybeans that tolerate weed-killers like glyphosate and insects like caterpillars are allowed in Brazil. But the ability to resist each counts as a distinct "technological event" - even if combined on the same seed. Events are approved together in Brazil and separately in the United States.

On Nov. 6, Brazil recognized the equivalence of genetically modified events approved in the United States and in Brazil. (Reporting by Ana Mano; additional reporting by Roberto Samora Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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