Brazilian agriculture exports reached $13.94 billion in May (all figures in USD), representing a 33.7% increase on the same month last year and the biggest boost on record since 1997.
Much of that rise was driven by an uptick in commodity prices, with the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry reporting that the price index had risen 24.6%, while growing demand from China was also key, reported Reuters.
The results were largely thanks to a major growth in soybean exports, which reached an all-month record of 16.4 million tonnes in May. Meanwhile, among other Brazilian agricultural goods seeing significant increases in exports were oil-seed, which grew 16%.
While the global pandemic has battered many economies and economic sectors in Latin America, it has seen purchases of agricultural commodities grow as countries seek to guarantee food stocks. Meanwhile, China has been seeking to expand swine and poultry herds, contributing to increased demand and inflated prices for grain and other animal feed crops.
For Brazilian agriculture, the soy category, which includes bran and oil, as well as grain, accounted for almost 60% of the value of Brazilian agricultural exports in May. During that record month, China imported 11.2 million tons of soybeans — representing 68% of the total exported by Brazil and an increase of more than one million tonnes compared to the same month the previous year.
That fed into a pattern of overall growth this year, with Chinese soybean imports totalling 38.2 million tonnes between January and May — an almost 13% increase on the first five months of 2020.
Meanwhile, oil-seed shipments hit 48.3 million tons in that same period — with a value of $20.3 billion that represented a 29.6% increase in value on the same period last year.
Other Brazilian agricultural products also posted positive results, with forest-based products such as cellulose, timber, wood pulp, and paper registering a value of $5.2 billion during that five month period — with a volume of 11.8 million tons representing a 10% increase on last year.
Investment opportunities in Brazilian agriculture
Brazilian agriculture is a large and lucrative sector, with a range of strong investment opportunities. Here three are considered:
Soybeans: are extremely important to the Brazilian economy, and recent price index rises make them an increasingly lucrative product to invest in. Around 80% of soybean production occurs in the south of the country, and Brazil produces more than 30% of the global soybean supply.
Coffee: is a well-known Brazilian agriculture product, and the country produces approximately 35% of global supply. While coffee is known for its price fluctuations, it is another export crop that has seen strong growth in prices during the global pandemic.
Orange juice: production in Brazil is driven by the export market, with the United States and European Union major destinations for the product, of which Brazil was reported to account for almost 65% of global supply in 2020.
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