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May 8, 2013

Logistical Problems Slow Movement of Soybeans from Mato Grosso

Soybean exports from the state of Mato Grosso during the first four months of 2013 were lower than during the same period a year earlier. The movement of soybeans into the export channels was slowed earlier this year by a series of events including: wet weather that delayed the onset of the soybean harvest, a lack of trucks because some of the trucks were still transporting corn from the last safrinha corn crop, long wait times to unload at grain terminals and ports reducing the availability of trucks, and a new law that mandated longer rest periods for Brazilian truck drivers.

Mato Grosso is expected to produce 23.5 million tons of soybeans in the 2012/13 growing season, but during the first four months of 2013, the soybean exports from the state were 42% below the same period in 2012 (1.9 million tons vs. 3.3 million tons). Even though the soybean harvest had already started, corn was still being exported from Mato Grosso during January, February, and March of this year.

The movement of soybeans out of the state is expected to increase going forward as dry weather allows for a more rapid loading pace at Brazilian ports and the availability of trucks improves. During the harvest period, a significant percentage of the trucks are used to transport the soybeans from the field to the grain elevators, but once the harvest is complete, these trucks are then available to transport the soybeans to export facilities.

China continues to be the main destination of soybeans exported from the state with 66% of the total exports. In addition to China, Mato Grosso'Ms soybeans have been exported to Spain, Vietnam, Holland, and Taiwan.