Brazil is exporting 178,800 tonnes of soybeans to buyers in the United States, shipping data seen by Reuters showed, as the price of the oilseed in the South American country, the world’s largest soybean supplier, is a bargain even for importers in the No. 2 producing nation.
According to May 30 data from Williams, a shipping agency, three vessels loaded with Brazilian soybeans will leave ports in the northern part of the South American nation between June 4 and June 11. Two others departed Brazilian ports last week.
The purchases reflect Brazil’s growing clout as an agriculture exporter. The country has surpassed the United States in exports of soy and, more recently, corn.
The data identifies the buyers as chicken producer Perdue Farms and global grains merchant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co ADM.N. The Floriana, to be loaded with 32,000 tonnes of Brazilian soybeans, will be loaded at a Cargill CARG.UL terminal at the port of Santarem.
“Imports are a small but important element of our supply chain,” said Scott Fredericksen, president of Perdue AgriBusiness, a division of Perdue Farms. “As recent soybean crush rates in the U.S. are at a record high, we look to several countries, primarily in South America, to fill the gap in what’s grown domestically.”
Cargill and ADM did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The 178,800 tonnes of Brazilian soybeans being shipped to the United States would be the largest since 2014, when imports hit a record 1.048 million tonnes, according to U.S. Census Bureau trade data.
Analysts had said the economics of the U.S. importing soy made sense, as Brazil is on track to harvest more than 154 million tonnes of soybeans this season, its biggest crop ever.
The cost of grain not including freight in Brazil is $1.09 per bushel cheaper than U.S. beans for near-term shipment, John Stewart and Associates wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday, explaining imports therefore made sense for some East Coast crushers.