April 9, 2004



Brazil Soybean Production Forecast To 56 Million MT

Brazil is now expected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to produce just 56 million metric tons of soybeans in 2003-04, a sharp drop from the 59.5 million tons that USDA forecast a month ago.
The USDA, in its monthly supply and demand report released Thursday, said it reduced the prediction for Brazil "based primarily on drought-reduced yields in the southern producing region." Analysts, who generally expected the USDA to lower the Brazil forecast because of the dry weather, also pointed to the fact that the Asian rust fungus is decreasing yields in Brazilian fields.
This is the second consecutive month the USDA has lowered its forecast for Brazilian soybean production. In March, the USDA lowered the forecast to 59.5 million tons from the February prediction of 61 million tons.
In the April supply and demand report, the USDA also lowered its forecast for Brazil's 2003-04 soybean exports. The country is now forecast to export 23.5 million tons, 1 million less than the USDA said it expected a month ago.
The USDA also lowered its soybean production forecasts for Argentina and Paraguay "by a combined 2 million tons" for both countries, and said yields "have been affected by dry weather during the growing season. "
Argentina is now forecast to produce 35 million tons of soybeans, a drop from the 36.5 million tons the USDA predicted in March.

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