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December 1, 2020

Vessel of U.S. Soybeans Arrives at Port of Paranagua in Brazil

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

A vessel with 30,500 tons of soybeans from the United States arrived at the Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil last Friday. It was the first vessel of imported soybeans to arrive at the port in more than a decade. It is expected to dock between December 7th and 15th.

The soybeans were imported by Louis Dreyfus and they will be unloaded at a rate of 6,000 tons per day. That unloading rate is quite slow because the port is configured to load vessels with soybeans, not to unload bulk soybeans. While this is only a small amount of soybeans, it is the largest amount of soybeans imported from the United States since 1997.

Due to very tight domestic supplies of grain, Brazil temporarily suspended import tariffs on soybeans, corn, and rice from non-Mercosul countries on October 16th. Importing soybeans represents a shift in Brazil, which is the world's largest producer and exporter of soybeans.

Earlier in 2020, Brazil exported a huge amount of soybeans due to the devaluation of the Brazilian currency and the trade dispute between China and the United States. The devaluation of the Brazilian currency made Brazil's soybeans very competitive in the world market allowing exporters to outbid domestic crushers for available soybeans. Domestic supplies of soybeans will remain very tight until farmers start harvesting their 2020/21 crop in late January and early February.

The Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (Abiove) expects Brazil to import 1 million tons of soybeans in 2020, which would be the most since 2008. From January through October of 2020, Brazil has imported 625,000 tons of soybeans with 589,000 tons from Paraguay and 36,300 tons from Uruguay. In 2019, Brazil imported 125,000 tons of soybeans.