Brazil

Lower corn production costs in U.S. than in Brazil

Although the cost of production rose in both countries in 2023, U.S. corn growers have an advantage over their Brazilian rivals with lower per-bushel costs, said four agricultural economists at the farmdoc daily blog. The United States grows three times as much corn as Brazil, but Brazil is forecast to be the world’s top corn exporter for the second year in a row.

Brazil a stronger U.S. competitor in soybean sales

In the past decade, Brazil has improved its network of roads, railways, and ports, “significantly altering” its competitiveness with the United States in the world soybean market, said an Agriculture Department report on Thursday. Continued improvements would bolster Brazil’s standing as the world’s largest soybean producer and exporter.

Tropical forest losses worsen, says WRI

Although global leaders agreed in 2021 to halve forest losses within a decade, 4.1 million hectares (15,830 square miles) of tropical primary forest were lost last year, said the World Resources Institute on Wednesday. “The trend is moving in the wrong direction,” said the environmental group.

Land values in Brazil soy belt doubled from 2019-22

Cropland prices in Brazil doubled from 2019-22, pulled up by high commodity prices and strong investor demand, and aided by low interest rates, said four University of Illinois agricultural economists.

Drought, biodiesel boom pinches world soyoil trade

The boom in production of renewable diesel fuel has pushed U.S. soybean oil prices so high the commodity is uncompetitive on the world market, said USDA analysts on Tuesday. Drought in Argentina, the world's leading soyoil exporter, also will be a major factor in the lowest volume of soyoil imports worldwide in five years.

U.S. dominance in ag export race is softening

The United States lost its place as the world's largest wheat exporter a decade ago, and now its leadership in exports of corn, cotton and tree nuts is being challenged, said a new USDA report. "Changes in global patterns of production and agricultural markets affected U.S. export competitiveness during the last two decades," said the Economic Research Service.

Global corn trade tightens as Argentine, U.S. exports dip

Drought in Argentina and lackluster sales in the United States, two of the world’s major suppliers, will reduce global corn exports to their lowest volume in three years, said USDA analysts on Wednesday. Shipments from another leading source, Ukraine, were in question because an extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative past March 18 has not been resolved.

Brazil says farmers can grow and market GMO wheat

Brazil, one of the world's most populous nations, has joined neighboring Argentina in approval of the cultivation and sale of wheat that is genetically modified to resist drought — another milestone in the campaign to apply biotechnology to food directly consumed as part of the human diet.

Despite small crop, U.S. is top cotton exporter

U.S. cotton exports will shrink by 14 percent this trade year, the result of a drought-stunted crop, but America will remain the No. 1 supplier to the world market, said the USDA on Thursday.

Global demand for biofuels to slow in decade ahead, says forecast

Corn will become less important and sugarcane will become the dominant feedstock for making ethanol in the coming decade, said an agricultural outlook published jointly by the OECD and FAO on Wednesday. The report forecast a relatively slow growth rate for biofuels, averaging 0.6 percent a year worldwide, with growth in the United States constrained by declining gasoline consumption.

‘Phase one’ was doomed to disappoint, and it did, say analysts

The 2020 agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war set unrealistically high goals for U.S. exports to China and failed to deliver on them by large margins, say analysts. Overall, China bought just 57 percent of the goods and services it committed to buying as part of the “phase one” agreement. The agriculture sector, at 83 percent, came closest to reaching its export goal.

Brazil may feel fertilizer pinch more than U.S.

U.S. farmers face sky-high fertilizer prices as the spring planting season approaches, but their supply may be more assured than that of Brazil growers in the wake of economic sanctions on Russia, said three university economists. Brazil imports 85 percent of its fertilizer, with Russia ordinarily supplying one-fifth of it.

A bio-economy in the Amazon to prevent deforestation

In the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, a nascent but significant movement is underway to protect the rainforest by connecting small-scale producers tapping rubber trees with multinational brands, report Brian Barth and Flávia Milhorance in FERN's latest story, produced with The New Republic.(No paywall)

USDA forecasts highest prices for U.S. crops in years amid global boom

U.S. farmers will reap two of their largest corn and soybean crops ever and sell them for the highest average prices since the commodity boom ended several years ago, said the government Wednesday in its first projections of the fall harvest. The USDA also said that global soybean king Brazil would increase its share of the world market at the expense of U.S. exports.

Even in economic downturn, tropical forest losses climb

During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, as economic activity ground to a virtual standstill, Mother Nature flirted with recovery. With so many factories closed and far fewer vehicles on the road, Greenhouse gas emissions plummeted. Air and water quality temporarily improved. Overall, the global economy shrank by roughly 4 percent in 2020, and yet one disturbing trend continued apace: forest destruction worldwide, largely as a result of agriculture. No paywall

WTO chooses first woman and African as director general

With a Trump administration objection out of the way, the WTO members selected Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian, as its director general effective March 1. She will take office at a time of challenge for the organization; the world has lost confidence in mulilateral trade agreements as a path to …

Brazil heads, again, for its largest soy crop ever

Despite dry weather at the start of the planting season, Brazil is headed for its second record-setting soybean harvest in a row, said USDA analysts, who forecast the 2020/21 crop at 133 million metric tonnes, up nearly 6 percent from last year.

World soybean production to rise by 8 percent, says grains council

With a rebound in U.S. production, the world soybean crop will be a record 364 million tonnes in 2020/21, up 8 percent from this season, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. Record-setting corn and wheat crops were also forecast for 2020/21.

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