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Brazilian Soybean Crop Shows Decreased Protein Content
USAgNet - 07/23/2019

The protein content in Brazilian soybeans fell for the first time in four harvests in 2018, according to preliminary government data, a development that has already cost Brazilian companies business with top buyer China.

According to Reuters, declining protein levels in Brazil, the world's top soybean supplier, spell trouble for exporters who are faced with the prospect of cancellations, selling beans at a discount or stricter contracts requiring quality assurances with buyers who want to guarantee a nutrient-rich purchase.

The protein content in Brazil's 2018 soy crop harvested around January of that year slipped to an average of 36.83% from 37.14% in the previous crop according to preliminary findings, Marcelo de Oliveira, researcher at government research agency Embrapa, told Reuters. The data will be adjusted by September, when the final Embrapa soy quality report is due, he said. In a statement, Embrapa said annual variations in Brazil's soy protein content are not statistically relevant, and indicate the levels of that component of the grain have remained stable.

Cesar Borges, board executive at food processor Caramuru Alimentos SA, said in an interview the company had to turn down a potential sale to China this week because it could not guarantee the minimum protein levels required by the Chinese importer.

China, which imports soybeans to use in livestock feed, has grown increasingly more reliant on Brazil for soybeans since last year, when it applied retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans in response to U.S. duties on Chinese goods.

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