By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Foreign sales of soybean by Brazil have set records during this first half of 2014, consolidating the country as the second largest soybean exporter in the world, only behind the United States. According to Secex (Foreign Trade Department at the Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Ministry) the average daily soybean exports for the first half of June totaled US$224.881 million, 5.9 percent higher than during the same period last year.

Soybean exports
Record volumes of soybean grains being loaded into cargo ships this season, photo Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr.

For the first five months of 2014 (January through May), reported the entity, the grain increased by 22 percent in its exported value in comparison to the same period in 2013, totaling US$12.6 billion and surpassing even iron ore sales abroad, traditionally Brazil’s main exported product.

“This shows the importance of Brazilian agribusiness, which is known as one of the most competitive in the world,” noted Daniel Godinho, foreign trade secretary.

Greater productivity as well as increased planting area contributed to the increased production. According to the latest survey conducted by Conab (National Supply Company), soybean planted area in the 2013-2014 grain season in Brazil grew by 8.5 percent going from 27.7 to 30.1 million hectares.

The supply company estimates that Brazil will harvest 86 million tons of the grain in the current 2013-2014 season. In the previous season, Brazil’s soybean production totaled 81.5 million tons. The ports of Santos (São Paulo) and Paranagua (Parana) are the main ports for soybean exports. These two ports alone are responsible for almost half of all soybean shipped abroad by the country.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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