Brazil’s soybean and corn exports to surge to record level in 2023

ANEC, the Brazilian grain exporters association, forecasts soybean exports to hit over 90 million tonnes and corn shipments to surpass last year's volumes

Brazil’s soybean and corn exports are expected to hit record volumes in 2023, with soybean exports forecast to hit over 90 million tonnes and corn shipments surpassing last year’s record 43.17 million tonnes, Sergio Mendes, director of ANEC, the country’s grain exporters association, told Fastmarkets Agriculture.

Corn exports

Brazil’s 2022 corn exports were up 109.5% from the previous year’s 20.6 million tonnes, with China beginning to buy the country’s corn in November with a purchase of 1.17 million tonnes.

When the opening of the Chinese market was announced, Mendes expected figures could be as high as 4 million tonnes.

Despite the lower-than-initially forecast shipment, he remains confident. “I believe that the Covid-19 surge in China should not hurt demand, especially for soybean and grains,” Mendes said.

In its latest report, released Tuesday, ANEC raised its projection for Brazil’s January corn exports to 5 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 4.3 million tonnes, while during the same month in 2022, the country sent 2.2 million tonnes abroad.

“We are a little concerned about the impact of the drought on corn production in Rio Grande do Sul, but I don’t think we will have as significant a loss as in 2021,” he added.

It was the drop in supply caused by the drought in southern Brazil that was responsible for the low level of shipments in 2021.

Soybean exports

Mendes expects soybean exports to exceed 90 million tonnes in 2023, recovering from last year’s 10.1% decline to 77 million tonnes.

In 2022 crop loss reduced the export capacity of the country, but this year’s bumper crop should guarantee the recovery of shipped volumes.

“No doubt we will see an increase in shipments this year,” he added.

The forecast for January soybean exports was also raised from last week’s 1.3 million tonne estimate to the current 1.9 million tonnes.

In the first month of 2022, Brazil shipped 2.28 million tonnes.

Without projecting volumes, Mendes expects the soy meal market to remain heated in 2023 following the strong demand for soy oil.

In 2022 exports reached record levels at 20.4 million tonnes, up from 16.8 million tonnes in 2021.

ANEC also increased its January export estimates to 1.4 million tonnes from the prior projection of 1.3 million. During the same month in 2022, the country shipped 1.58 million tonnes.

View our soybean crush data analysis

Wheat exports

Brazil’s January wheat exports projection was also up, climbing to 446,105 tonnes from the previous week’s estimates of 280,715 tonnes.

In the same month in 2022, the country shipped 695,953 tonnes.

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