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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

09/11/2004

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Dow Jones

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Brazilian soybean crop estimate lowered as farmers
SAO PAULO, Nov 08, 2004 -- Brazilian agricultural consultancy Celereslowered its Brazilian soybean output estimate for 2004-05 to 63.9 millionmetric tons in its November estimate from 64.2 million tons last month.

The reduction was based on lower planted area and yield estimates asfarmers reacted to projections that prices will remain in the doldrums forthe next year.

The Celeres estimate is lower than the 64.5 million tons forecast by theU.S. Department of Agriculture but significantly higher than the 60.2million tons predicted by the Agriculture Ministry last month.

Output is still pegged some 25% higher than last season as yields returnto normal after last year's weather and disease problems and planted areaincreases.

Planted area is seen totaling 22.83 million hectares, down from 22.9million hectares forecast in October but sharply higher than the 21.28million hectares planted last year.

Celeres lowered its planted area estimate for Mato Grosso, Brazil's No. 1soy state, by 106,000 hectares to 5.69 million hectares due to high costs.In compensation, the area estimate for Parana, the No. 2 state, was raisedby 51,000 hectares.

Average yields are seen totaling 2,798 kilograms per hectare from 2,802kg/hectare last month but much higher than 2,397 kg/hectare last year.However, a clearer indication of yields this season can only be seen fromDecember when the whole crop is planted.

With the jump in output, total Brazilian supply is expected to rise 22.8%to 67.0 million tons next year.

The pace of forward sales of 2004-05 soybeans remains extremely slow withonly 11% of potential output sold up to Oct .5 compared with 46% at thesame stage last year and a five-year average of 32%, said Celeres' soyanalyst Anderson Galvao Gomes.

Despite slightly increased sales over the last couple of weeks, Brazilianfarmers still have an uncommonly large portion of the last crop in theirwarehouses.

Up to Oct. 5, farmers had sold 88% of their crop compared with 97% at thesame point last year and a five-year average of 99%.

Brazil is the world's No. 2 producer and exporter of soybeans.