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Brazil’s Soybean Protein Level Slips, Costing Chinese Purchases

Preliminary data from the Brazilian government shows that the protein level of the country’s soybeans fell for the first time in four harvests in 2018. This change has cost Braazilian exporters some purchases by top Chinese buyers, and places them in the position of having to face cancellations or stricter contract terms including quality guarantees for buyers looking for certain nutrient standards.

Initial reports indicate that around January 2018, Brazil’soybean protein levels fell from 37.14 percent to 36.83 percent as China has become increasingly dependent on Brazilian shipments due to its trade war with the U.S. Brazil’s farmers however are not overly concerned, as they chase higher volumes over higher protein, as protein level does not factor into their price received.

Currently, China buys about 80 percent of Brazil’s soybean crop, which still has a higher protein content than the average 34.2 percent in U.S. soybeans in 2018 - however, U.S. protein levels have been on the rise, while Brazil’s have been declining.

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