Biggest Soy Supplier Hangs Onto Beans After Missing Last Rally
(Bloomberg) -- Soybean growers in Brazil, the largest shipper of the oilseed, are holding off on forward sales even as local prices approach all-time highs and a bumper crop is on the way.
About 28% of Brazilian soy to be harvested next year has been pre-sold compared with 44% a year earlier, according to MD Commodities in Chicago.
Farmers are more reluctant to lock in prices after last year selling a significant part of their future crop just before commodity prices took off, said Daniele Siqueira, an analyst at AgRural. For example, growers in the Sorriso municipality of Mato Grosso state sold their past crop at an average of 100 reais ($19.50) per 60-kilogram bag versus today’s price of 165 reais, according to the consulting firm.
“They may be betting on a higher prices or just waiting for better opportunities after they lock in their costs,” said Wellington Andrade, executive director for farm group Aprosoja in Mato Grosso.
Soybean futures have slid about 12% in Chicago from a June 10 peak. Sorriso prices in reais are up 5.1% in the same span, according to University of Sao Paulo research arm Cepea.
The soybean planted area in Brazil may rise to a record 39.91 million hectares (98.62 million acres) in the 2021-22 season, crop agency Conab wrote in an Aug. 26 report.
By holding off on selling, growers risk missing good opportunities, said Ismael Menezes, a partner at MD Commodities. If the U.S. harvest comes in at 118 million to 120 million tons and American demand stays weak, funds may exit long positions, pushing down Chicago futures to around $12.20 from $12.89 a bushel, he said.
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