The U.S. agricultural attaché in Brazil trimmed his estimate of that country's soybean crop to 60.1 million metric tons (mmt), from a November estimate of 62.1 mmt, due to lower-than-expected plantings.

The attaché forecast the area planted to soybeans in Brazil at 21.7 million hectares (53.6 million acres), an increase of 4% from last year.

The attaché also notes that the soybean area in Brazil had been gradually diminishing since 2004 due to low soybean prices, bad weather, soybean rust and an unfavorable exchange rate. Recent high prices have not boosted plantings as much as expected.

Attaché reports are not official USDA data. USDA's official Brazilian crop estimate is 61 mmt.