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Brazil expects record grain harvest due to Chinese demand

Brazil is on track for a record grain harvest this year, driven by Chinese demand.

The harvest is advancing at speed in the world’s leading soybean producer, driven by prices that hit highs in several years after being weighed down by the coronavirus last year.

Although the harvest began with a drought, it now benefits from the favorable climate.

“The production of grains in Brazil is estimated at 273.8 million tons,” according to the National Supply Company (Conab). “The growth reaches 6.5% or 16.8 million tons over the last harvest,” he added.

According to Conab, “the total plantation area (…) registers a growth of 3.9%” in relation to the last harvest, “with the forecast of reaching 68.5 million hectares.”

In the case of soybeans, the official body indicated that “the volume should reach a new record, estimated at 135.5 million tons, 8.6% or 10.7 million tons above the 2019/20 harvest” .

Corn will also break records, with a harvest forecast of 109 million tons (+ 6.2%).

Farmers are working at full steam in places like Salto do Jacuí, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, an agricultural region among the most productive in the country.

Combine harvesters plow through the soybean fields. “We are very happy with the results of this year’s harvest,” said farmer Adroaldo Rossato.

“Thanks to the good weather we have excellent productivity. And prices are very high, well above previous years,” he told AFP during a harvest break.

A good part of the Brazilian grains will be sent to China, which exhibits renewed demand for commodities after the pandemic.

China was once again a voracious importer of soybeans – which it uses mainly to feed pigs – and also of oils, copper, steel and coal.

“For there to be a new ‘super cycle’ (of raw materials), this robust growth in demand from China that we are seeing will have to be sustained for several years,” explained the head of strategy of raw materials of the ING bank, Warren Patterson, in a note.

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