Safras Raises Brazil Soybean Crop

The private Brazilian crop consultant Safras & Mercado has raised its estimate of Brazil's 2002-2003 soybean crop to 50.27 million metric tons, up 3.2% from the 48.7 million tons it forecast in December.

In its weekly report, Safras said favorable weather has boosted production. "Since January...normal weather has returned to practically the whole soy producing region with showers and sunny periods which favor crop development."

Safras raised its forecast yield by 2.7% to 2,789 kilograms per hectare. The average yield is now seen 7.6% greater than last season's 2,591 kilograms per hectare drought-affected yield.

The firm also increased its estimate of plantings from 259,000 acres to 44.5 million acres.

The Safras estimate provides some support for the 51-million-ton Brazilian crop estimate that the USDA released earlier this month. Some analysts have said that USDA is overstating the Brazilian crop.

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.