August 6, 2019 / 5:59 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 2-Brazil's new soy crop area seen growing 2.3% to 36.7 mln hectares

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    By Roberto Samora
    SAO PAULO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Brazil's new soybean crop,
which farmers are expected to start planting next month, is seen
reaching 36.7 million hectares (90.68 million acres), an area
2.3% larger than seen in the previous crop, according to the
average forecast from a poll of analysts.
    Output of the new crop was seen on average at 122.8 million
tonnes, 6.8% more than in the previous season, according to the
poll. Analysts said expansion of soy planting will probably be
limited by China's swine flu outbreak, lower global soy prices
and the potential for higher transportation costs in Brazil.
    If the poll's estimates are confirmed, Brazil would surpass
the United States as the world's top producer. According to the
latest USDA forecast, the U.S. farmers are expected to produce
104.64 million tonnes in the current season that was hit by
above-average rains. 
    Still, Brazilian farmers remained cautious.
    "We have many things to worry about," said the head of soy
producers association Aprosoja, Bartolomeu Braz Pereira.
    "The issue with the minimum truck freight prices has not
been solved. Production costs are high. And the trade spat
between the U.S. and China is very worrying," he said.
    Analyst's projections accounted for a possible productivity
recovery from last season's drought-hit crop that came in at 115
million tonnes, below the 2017/18 record of 119.3 million
    The Brazilian government is still evaluating demands from
truckers regarding higher freight values. Since much of Brazil
production is far from the ports and transported by trucks, a
spike in transportation costs would hit farmers and traders.
    Some analysts believe the U.S.-China trade war has more
negatives than positives for Brazil because it has hurt soybean
prices, even though Brazilian soy has enjoyed premiums over
Chicago values.
    "The trade war and the swine flu outbreak in China are
pressuring reference soy prices. These factors are limiting the
growth in planted area in Brazil," said Aedson Pereira, a grain
analyst with IEG FNP.
    See below a table with detailed estimates from the poll:    
 Aprosoja       121,36      36,99
 ARC Mercosul   121,90      37,07
 Céleres         124,00      36,90
 Cerealpar      125,00        -
 Cogo            123,5      36,40
 Datagro        125,30      36,80
 IEG FNP        123,00      36,60
 Rabobank       117,50      36,40
 Safras &       123,80      36,63
 USDA           123,00        -
 AVERAGE         122,8       36,7
 HIGHEST        125,30      37,07
 SMALLEST       117,50      36,40
 Conab          115,00      35,87
 % CHANGE VS     6,8%        2,3%
 Compiled by Reuters

 (Reporting by Roberto Samora, writing by Marcelo Teixeira;
Editing by David Gregorio)
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