The soyabean harvests in Argentina and Brazil are expected to be larger this year but poor growing conditions will dampen the prospect of a bumper crop, according to a report by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP).

Brazil is forecast to harvest a record soyabean crop of 139M tonnes in the current crop year, which would be an increase of around 1M tonnes compared to the previous year, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

However, extreme growing conditions – with a mixture of dryness and excessive rain – dampened the prospects of a bumper crop, which the USDA December outlook estimated at 144M tonnes, the 10 February UFOP report said.

Brazil was consolidating its position ahead of the USA, based on a 1.5M ha increase in planted area, according to UFOP.

The US soyabean harvest was complete at the end of last year, the report said, with the harvest totalling around 120.7M tonnes – a year-on-year rise of around 6M tonnes.

In Argentina, the harvest was expected to rise slightly to 46.5M tonnes compared to 46.2M tonnes the previous year, following two years of decline, the report said.

A year-on-year increase of 1.5M tonnes to 11.9M tonnes was also anticipated in the harvest in India, according to the latest USDA estimate.

UFOP) pointed out that, according to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI), the increase in soya output in Brazil was based on a 1.5M ha expansion in production area.

The association said that such expansion should be viewed critically because it exacerbated the increasing debate about the transparency needed for deforestation-free procurement.

EU production of biofuel obtained from soyabean oil would also be affected by the future regulation that soybean oil-based biofuel, along with palm oil-based biofuel, could no longer be counted towards national quota obligations, UFOP added.

UFOP noted that the French and Dutch governments had already excluded soyabean oil from being counted towards quota obligations, without the need for the new regulation to be implemented by the European Union (EU).