Soybean prices plummet in January in Brazil and Chicago; South American crop weighs

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Porto Alegre, February 7, 2024 – Soybean prices plummeted in January in Brazil and on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) during the month of January. Despite the problems in Brazil, the trend toward a larger crop in South America, with a likely recovery in Argentine production, besides some uncertainties surrounding demand, weighed on prices.

A 60-kg bag dropped from BRL 139.00 to BRL 120.00 between the end of December and the end of January in Passo Fundo (RS). In Cascavel (PR), prices fell from BRL 132.00 to BRL 109.00. In Rondonópolis (MT), they dropped from BRL 130.00 to BRL 103.00. As a result of the fall, trading lost pace, with growers prioritizing the harvest.

In the Port of Paranaguá, prices fell from BRL 142.00 to BRL 118.00 in January. Premiums declined due to the fundamental scenario. The imminent arrival of a large South American crop and weakened demand from China, given the approach of the Lunar Year holiday in that country, weighed heavily on prices.

On the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), contracts expiring in March, the most traded, fell by 5.6%, ending the month at USD 12.2225 per bushel. Despite some technical rebounds, the fundamental scenario prevailed and put pressure on future prices.

The harvest is moving at an advanced pace in Brazil, and soybeans from the world’s largest grower increase availability and put pressure on prices. Despite problems with the lack of rain in Mato Grosso, Brazil is expected to crop around 150 mln tons.

Besides the Brazilian crop, Argentina is likely to produce a full crop. After losing more than half of the crop last year, Argentine growers are expected to crop 52.5 mln tons, according to data released by the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. Compared to the previous season, there would be around 30 mln tons more on the market. Paraguay and Uruguay are also expected to have good crops.

As for the exchange rate, January showed some recovery, with the US currency rising 2.29% to BRL 4.9358. The first month of the year marked a greater aversion to financial risk, leading to this appreciation. Even so, the currency remained below BRL 5.00, contributing little to movement in the domestic market.

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