Soybean (CBOT:SH14) output in top exporter Brazil may exceed current forecasts for a record crop and surpass U.S. output as rain and spending on additives boost yields, Agriculture Minister Antonio Andrade said.
Growers may reap more than 95 million metric tons of the oilseed used in everything from tofu to cooking oil in the current 2013-14 season, above the record 90.3 million tons estimated by the government’s Conab agency in a report today, Andrade told reporters in Brasilia.
“We are expecting a big boost in yields compared with last season and I have no doubt we will harvest over 95 million tons of soy,” Andrade said. “The Conab estimate is conservative.”
Rising prices for soybeans since August are encouraging Brazilian growers to expand planting and make investments to improve yields as corn prices slump. Soybean futures in Chicago are up 9 percent from a 20-month low on Aug. 8, while corn slumped 10 percent in the same span.
Andrade’s estimate means Brazil would exceed the 88.7 million tons of American production and 88 million for Brazil estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest report.
Growers in Mato Grosso state, which produces about a third of Brazil’s soybeans, are also planning to plant the oilseed during the winter crop, starting in May, instead of corn.
“We are noticing growers will raise soybean planting in some areas in the winter season,” agriculture policy secretary Neri Geller said.