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Brazilian soyabean planted area and production are expected to reach new record levels in the 2023/24 marketing year, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) expects planted area to expand from 43.5M ha in 2022/23 to 45.2M ha in the current marketing year and production to rise from 152M tonnes this year to 159M tonnes.

In its Brazil Oilseeds and Products Annual, the USDA noted that Brazil’s total soyabean planted area had increased by 20%, or 7.1M ha, over the last five seasons.

“Soyabean expansion is forecast on current market conditions and trends including strong demand, high prices and a favourable exchange rate,” the FAS said.

Record Brazilian soyabean exports of 98.1M tonnes were also expected in 2023/24 – 3.1M tonnes higher than the previous record of 95M tonnes.

China continues to be Brazil’s biggest soyabean buyer, accounting for more than 53% of Brazilian exports during the last marketing year, according to the report.

The European Union (EU) accounts for around 10% of all Brazilian soybean exports, with the Netherlands the largest EU importer of soyabeans and Spain also importing large volumes.

Around one-quarter of all soyabeans imported by the Netherlands are directly re-exported to other countries, as the country acts as a logistics hub and a point of clearance for products distributed to the rest of Europe, according to the report.

Globally, Brazil is the leading producer and exporter of soyabeans, accounting for more than 40% of the world’s soyabean production, the USDA said.