Brazil soybean exports hit record in April

By Roberto Samora

SAO PAULO, May 4 (Reuters) - Brazilian soybean exports in April reached 16.3 million tonnes, an all-time record for a single month and an increase from 9.4 million tonnes in same month last year, according to average daily export data released on Monday by the government.

The previous record was 12.35 million tonnes, set in May 2018. Brazil, the world's largest exporter of soybeans, had shipped 11.64 million tonnes of soybeans in March, according to government data, as local farmers finish collecting another bumper crop.

The market expects Brazil to continue reporting strong soy export numbers in May, June and July, though it is not clear if the April record will be beat, Luiz Fernando Roque, an analyst at consultancy Safras & Mercado, told Reuters. The first export figures in May indicate Brazil should export at least 9 million tonnes this month, he added.

"I think May and June will still be strong, but the changes of breaking the April record are small," he said. "It's unlikely."

In the medium-term, he added, the phase 1 trade deal between the United States and China has created uncertainty for Brazilian exports in the second half of the year, as China is required to import a minimum amount of U.S. soy under the deal's terms.

"The big doubt is whether or not China will honor that accord," Roque said.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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