Brazilian farmers have sold an estimated 47 percent of their expected 2012-13 soybean crop, compared with 31 percent a year ago, according to industry researcher Soybean & Corn Advisor Inc.
Farmers mostly stopped contracting more of the expected crop after a recent drop in prices, Hinsdale, Illinois-based Soybean & Corn Advisor wrote in an online report today.
Brazil is expected to overtake the U.S. as the largest soybean shipper in 2012-13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts. Soybean futures in Chicago have dropped 13 percent from their peak of $17.89 a bushel on Sept. 4.
“Brazilian farmers have been very aggressive in forward contracting their 2012-13 soybean crop,” the consulting company led by Michael Cordonnier wrote.
In Sorriso, a municipality in the state of Mato Grosso that is the biggest soybean-producing area in Brazil, farmers have sold an estimated 60 percent of their crop, according to Soybean & Corn Advisor.
“That is not expected to go any higher until farmers are more certain of their production,” the researcher wrote. “If farmers contract more than 60 percent of their anticipated production, they run the risk of not having enough soybeans to fulfill the contract if they run into adverse weather during the growing season.”
Most forward sales in Sorriso were done in July and August at a price of 42 to 43 reais ($20.72-$21.21) for a bag of 60 kilograms (132 pounds), according to Soybean & Corn Advisor. Prices rose to 54 reais per bag by the end of August, the company wrote.
In Campo Novo do Parecis in western Mato Grosso, farmers contracted half of their expected crop by the end of August at prices from 48 to 60 reais per bag, and prices in recent days dropped to a level of 40 to 42 reais, the researcher said.
Brazil’s farmers have sold almost all of last year’s crop, with an estimated 3 percent of the harvest still available in Mato Grosso and 8 percent in Parana, Soybean & Corn Advisor said. The soybean export season has ended in Brazil, and new shipments will probably not start until February, it said.
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