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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Strong Sales Lead To Record US Soybean Exports

4/12/05 - The forecast for U.S. soybean exports in 2004/05 was increased953,000 metric tons from the March estimate to a record 29.4 MMT, duetostronger than expected export sales throughout the month of March,according to a USDA crop circular posted Monday on the ForeignAgricultural Services Website.During March U.S. export commitments rose 2.3 MMT, up 1.5 MMT from lastyearand 1.4 MMT from 2 years ago. A large part of this increase came fromChina where commitments increased 859,000 MT and the EU where commitmentsrose 472,000MT during March.U.S. exports to China as of March 31 are already at a record 11.1 MMTwith456,000 MT of sales still on the books.Export commitments to China are up 3.3MMT from last year's record exportsof 8.2 MMT.Along with strong exports toChina, U.S. exports to the EU have reboundedsignificantly and are about 1 MMT higher than last year, but lag MY 2002exports by almost 1 MMT.A drought-reduced crop in Brazil has caused the soybean prices there toremainstrong thus minimizing the seasonal gap between U.S. and Brazilianprices.This along with freight advantages have allowed U.S. prices to remain morecompetitive than they normally would have been in both China and the EU,causingU.S. sales to these countries to remain strong.The Brazilian soybean crop forecast fell to 54 MMT in April down 12 MMT or18 percent from the initial forecast of 66 MMT last fall. According toBrazil's Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) the most significantdecline occurred in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, where thecrop is now estimated at only 3.1 MMT, down steeply from this season'sinitial government estimate of 9.2 MMT.This year the state of Rio Grande do Sul has reportedly suffered from theworst drought in 62 years.

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