Supported by lower supply in Brazil and Argentina, domestic soybean prices kept firm during most part of the first fortnight of February. Last days, however, decreasing international figures pressed Brazilian quotations. From January 30th to Feb 16th, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Paraná state) downed slight 0.47 percent in Real, closing at 48.62 or 21.33 dollars per bag of 60 kilos on Feb 16th. For the product delivered at Paranaguá port, the ESALQ/BM&F Index averaged 51.03 reals or 21.94 dollars per bag, decreasing 0.99 percent in the same period. Moreover, the lower liquidity reinforced the downward trend.
Concerning the harvesting, in Paraná state, Seab (Parana Agriculture Secretariat) data shows that activities have already reached roughly 5 percent. In Rio Grande do Sul state, the drought reduced the production to 1.8 percent compared to the initial estimation, according to Emater (Regional Agriculture Office).
The USDA reduced its forecast for 2008/09 global crop to 224.2 million tons, down 4.9 percent from the previous report (Jan/09). However, the volume should be 1.5 percent superior to the one verified in 2007/08 season. (Cepea - Brazil)