Brazil soybean crop set to hit record levels
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) estimates the soybean production area for the 2022/23 crop year at 42.5 million hectares. This translates to a presumed increase of 1.6 million hectares on the previous year.
The five-year growth rate of 1.2 million hectares will probably be exceeded by 400,000 hectares.
According to the FAS, the regions bordering the virgin forests in the north and north-east of the country are particularly affected by the strong expansion in soybean area.
Alongside expectations of buoyant world demand, the favourable exchange rate of the Brazilian real to the US dollar and the improved infrastructure as a consequence of new and enhanced roads and ports provide an incentive for farmers to expand their soybean areas, including on degraded pastures.
According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft, based on an expected yield of 33.9 decitonnes per hectare, the soybean crop is set to reach a record volume of around 144 million tonnes, 17.4 million tonnes more than in 2021/22.
The FAS raised its previous forecast after Brazil successfully secured sufficient amounts of phosphate fertiliser through extensive imports in the past few months.
Brazil sources approximately 85% of its fertiliser requirements from Russia and Belarus. Russia's invasion in Ukraine at the beginning of the year fuelled concerns over tight supply.
In the first five months of 2022, however, Brazil raised its fertiliser imports 16.5% on the same period in 2021. Imports between January and May 2022 amounted to 16.6 million tonnes, compared with only 14.2 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier.