A number of Brazilian soyabean crushing companies have reportedly halted processing operations due to falling margins and weak demand, local sources told AgriCensus.

As a result, the country’s crushing rate has dropped by 15,000 tonnes/day, which collectively represented about 8% of the country’s capacity, according to the sources quoted in the 29 September report.

In an earlier report, AgriCensus wrote that eight soyabean crushing facilities had halted operations on 12 September but, since then, two more plants had followed, bringing the total to 10.

“Crushing margins are really bad again,” Victor Martins, senior risk manager at HedgePoint Global, told AgriCensus.

“But some plants will continue to operate as they are better off crushing with negative margins than having the beans as stock, in order to fulfil its deliveries - especially to importers,” Martins added.

Crushing plants usually undertake maintenance around December/January ahead of the soyabean harvest in Brazil but plants were going offline earlier than anticipated this year, the report said.

Soyabean processing capacity in Brazil is estimated at 194,400 tonnes/day, with most operations in the regions of Mato Grosso, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Goiás, which account for nearly 70% of the country’s total capacity.

Brazil is the second largest exporter of soyabean oil globally, behind Argentina, and is expected to export 2.13M tonnes of soyabean oil and 18.8M tonnes of soyabean meal in 2022/23, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).