Even with the harvesting period, the soybean prices remained firm in the domestic and international markets during the first fortnight of February. In Brazil, the lower supply, the higher demand to settle export contracts and the increases if the export parity have remained supporting the domestic values.
The ESALQ/BM&F Index (product delivered in the Paranaguá port) increased 4.68 percent in Real between January 31st and February 15th, closing at 50.13 reals or 28.58 dollars per bag of 60 kilos this Friday. For the CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Paraná state), the raise was of 2.78 percent in Real, averaging 47.75 reals or 27.23 dollars per bag of 60 kilos on Feb 15th. To export in March, the FOB Paranaguá price averaged 29.54 dollars per bag of 60 kilos on Friday, the highest value.
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CBOT), the soybean quotation increased 7.8 percent in the first fortnight of February, averaging more than 30.00 dollars per bag on Feb 15th.
In general terms, the rains have been contributing for the Brazilian soybean crop development. However, they have been delaying the harvesting especially in the Mato Grosso state. In other regions that have already started activities, like in some fields of Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and Paraná state, the harvesting should be intensified in the next days, since the weather conditions are good (sunny).
The National Company for Food Supply (Conab) forecast about the new grains crop (2007/08) published on Tuesday, showed an increase of the soybean area and production compared to the January report. The area should be 0.9 percent higher over the previous crop, the productivity, 0.7 percent lower and the production, as a result, 0.2 percent superior to the 2006/07 crop.
Regarding the global supply and demand, on Feb 8th, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remained the upward trend of the market (lower inventories). Based on another Department report, published on Feb 12th, Brazil should become the main soybean (in grain) exporter in the next crop, increasing also trades of oil and soy meal. The Brazilian soybean (in grain) exports should go from 23.5 million tons in the 2006/07 crop to 62.9 million tons in the 2017/18 crop.