Soybean Slide Prompts Top Brazilian Grower to Scale Back

Gerson Freitas, Jr. – Bloomberg, 7/15/2014

SLC Agricola SA (SLCE3), Brazil’s biggest publicly traded cotton and soybean grower, is scaling back plans to double its growing areas after commodity prices plunged.

SLC, which has tripled its land since going public in 2007, is scrapping a plan announced in 2011 to expand to 700,000 hectares (1.7 million acres) by 2020 from about 344,000 now, Chief Executive Officer Aurelio Pavinato said in an interview. Instead, the Porto Alegre-based company wants to boost cash flow by making current farms more efficient, he said.

Soybeans and corn are trading at four-year lows and cotton is posting the second-biggest slide among agricultural commodities worldwide this year, making farmland purchases in parts of Brazil that are far from ports less desirable. SLC is now focusing on areas that need fewer investments through leasing and joint ventures as well as on cutting costs.

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Brazil Soy, Corn Crops Seen at Record on Planting, Rain

Mario Sergio Lima – Bloomberg, 02/07/2013

Soybean output in Brazil, set to surpass the U.S. as the largest grower, will rise more than previously estimated to a record as growers expand planting, the government said. The corn forecast was also raised to a record.

Growers will harvest 83.4 million metric tons in the 2012-2013 crop year that started Sept. 1, more than the 82.7 million tons estimated last month, the Agriculture Ministry’s crop-forecasting agency, known as Conab, said in a report today. Production will climb from 66.4 million tons collected in the past season.

Rising soybean prices are encouraging growers to expand planting, while regular showers on corn crops are helping boost yields after dry weather hurt output in the past season, Conab said. Soybean futures have risen 21 percent in New York in the last 12 months.

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Corn a sign of Brazil’s growing clout

Howard Schneider – The Washington Post/The Guardian, 11/2012

As US cornfields withered in drought conditions last summer, Brazil‘s once empty Cerrado region produced a bumper crop of the grain, helping feed livestock on US farms and ease a drought-related spike in prices.

US imports of Brazilian corn were small by world standards. But they are rising fast, and they mark just one element of the increasingly complex and sometimes contentious relations between the world’s agricultural superpower and its fast-growing competitor amid shifts in the global economy.

Starting at zero in 2010, Brazilian corn exports to the US are on pace to exceed $10m this year and are bound to rise as farmers expand planting and more corn is funnelled to nonfood uses, such as ethanol production. Brazil is expected next year to dethrone the US as the world’s largest producer of soybeans. With so much land available for cultivation, that status will probably become permanent.

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Brazil’s corn, ethanol exports surge after U.S. drought

Reuters, 11/01/2012

Brazil’s trade ministry said the country’s exports of corn and ethanol rose in October as foreign buyers turned to Brazil after the worst drought in 50 years ravaged U.S. crops.

Sugar and iron ore exports surged in October from a year before as well, as weather at the main ports remained clear and global demand for the raw materials was strong, the ministry said on Thursday.

Brazil harvested a record corn crop of nearly 73 million metric tons (80.47 million tons) this past season, which surpassed its soy output for the first time in a decade. Corn exports last month reached a record 3.66 million metric tons to beat September shipments of 3.14 million and October year-ago exports of 1.52 million.

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Brazil orders food inspectors key to exports back to work

Reuters, 8/10/2012

(Reuters) – Striking food inspectors who had slowed grain exports were ordered back to work by Brazil’s attorney general on Friday as demand for soy and corn from Latin America’s largest economy increased to head off a global food shortage.

A union representing the inspectors said they would obey the court order, which came after soy and corn exporters turned to local courts to guarantee document clearance on Wednesday.

Drought in the United States, the world’s largest corn producer, has decimated corn and soy crops there. Brazil is the world’s No. 2 soy producer, and its corn exports rose to 1.7 million tonnes in July from 134,900 tonnes in June.

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Smithfield Foods to import corn from Brazil

Marshall Eckblad – MarketWatch, 7/24/2012

Smithfield Foods Inc, the world’s largest pork producer, said Tuesday it will import corn from Brazil, a move that reflects how surging costs for U.S. feed grains are rippling through the livestock and meat industry.

The move comes amid tight supplies for U.S. corn and a recent jump in prices to record levels as the worst U.S. drought in decades batters the Corn Belt.

Analysts say it is unusual for a U.S. livestock producer to import supplies from South America, though it could be cheaper to ship corn from there to the eastern U.S. than by rail from the Midwest amid high domestic corn prices. The U.S. is by far the world’s biggest producer and exporter of corn.

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Factbox: Brazil: the world’s 21st Century breadbasket

Reese Ewing – Reuters, 06/21/2011

Brazil has for centuries been known as a leading producer and exporter of the world’s breakfast foods — orange juice, coffee, sugar and cocoa.

But over the past two and a half decades since the opening of the economy to foreign investment, Latin America’s largest economy has also become a leading producers of important grains and meats, through investments in technology and land.

Following is a list of most of Brazil’s main agricultural products and exports:

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