Brazil exports soybeans to Mexico as US sellers wait for China

Exports of new crop Brazilian soybeans to Mexico have soared almost 150% so far this year as a slowdown in Chinese private crusher demand, coupled with the hope that China state-owned buyers will snap up US beans, means Brazilian beans are competitive even on the US border.

Exports of soybeans since February through April – the first three months of Brazil’s marketing year - will reach 290,000 mt, according to customs and line-up data.

That compares with just 120,000 mt last year and a maximum of 32,000 mt for the previous three years during the same period, according to customs data.
“(This) shows Brazil is much cheaper than the US, who would be the most natural source of supply for this destination,” a Brazilian broker said.

Mexico typically sources around 90% of its 4.5 million mt per year import need from the US, but the prospect of increased purchasing from Chinese state-backed buyer has seen sellers of US soybeans hold offers.

That's despite swelling stocks that are expected to reach 900 million bushels by the end of August (24.5 million mt).

Meanwhile, the ongoing outbreak of swine fever that is hitting China’s pig herd has depressed demand for Brazilian beans from Chinese private crushers and seen prices collapse, with traders seeking a home for new crop beans that are hitting ports.

From mid-December to the end of February, Brazilian beans for May loading FOB Santos were at a premium to US beans hitting a high of $364.25/mt against $353.50/mt for US beans out of the US Gulf.

But since the start of March, Brazilian beans have fallen below the value of US beans, according to Agricensus data, averaging just under $1/mt below FOB US Gulf values – and that’s despite Brazilian beans fetching a premium due to better quality.

Source: AgriCensus | Author: Thomas Hughes