March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s soybean exports, expected to be the world’s largest, are trailing last year’s pace because of shipping bottlenecks, Oil World said.
Brazil exported 960,000 metric tons of soybeans in February, 39 percent less than the same month a year earlier, the Hamburg-based researcher said today in an e-mailed report. Ships are waiting as many as 60 days to load the oilseed at Brazilian ports, and a line of trucks at the railway terminal at Alto Araguaia in southern Mato Grosso may be as much as 60 kilometers (37 miles) long. Brazil’s soybean harvest was 37 percent complete as of March 1, compared with 33 percent at the same time last year, Oil World said.
Brazil’s corn exports jumped fivefold in January and February to 5.66 million tons, further limiting soybean shipments, Oil World said. Exports of the grain probably will be “unusually large” at least in the first half of this month. Soybean buyers are shifting to the U.S. and Paraguay amid Brazilian delays, with Paraguay’s shipments totaling 500,000 tons in February, more than twice the amount a year earlier.
“The global soybean market is currently in an unusually complicated transition of exports from the U.S. to South America,” Oil World said. “Given this year’s record crop and the exceptionally strong world demand, a huge export program must be accomplished in coming months” in Brazil, it said.
Soybean futures, which rose to a record $17.89 a bushel in September after U.S. drought, are up 4.4 percent this year on the Chicago Board of Trade on concern about Brazilian exports. Prices may decline in the second half of this year as shipping delays ease while U.S. farmers boost planting, Oil World said.
“Each cargo of soybeans shipped from the U.S. instead of Brazil will further raise the South American supply glut in coming months and contribute to a bearish scenario once the logistical problems are subsiding,” Oil World said.
Soybean exports from Brazil, the U.S., Argentina and Paraguay, the four largest shippers, totaled 5.26 million tons in February, 12 percent less than the same month a year earlier, Oil World said. Rapeseed exports also have declined. Shipments from top exporters Canada, Australia and Ukraine were 1.22 million tons in January, down 14 percent from a year earlier.
Rapeseed crops in Ukraine and Russia may “rebound sizably” in 2013 as winter crops are in better condition than last year, Oil World said. Farmers in Ukraine, the third-biggest exporter, planted about 7 percent more winter crops than in the previous season, with the biggest increase in high-yielding areas of the Ukrainian Forest and Forest-Steppe, it said.
--Editors: John Deane, Sharon Lindores