Saudi Arabia raising soybean and corn imports from Brazil

Updated 29 October 2012
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Saudi Arabia raising soybean and corn imports from Brazil

JEDDAH: BrazArtis, an import-export company based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is set to expand its soybean and corn exports to the Middle East, a move that is aligned with growing Brazilian grain harvest and exports.
Driven by soybean and corn production, Brazilian grain harvest is estimated to exceed 180 million tons from 170 million last year.
The soybean harvest alone for 2012/13 is set to increase by 20 percent and reach 81 million tons, from 66 million last year.
Ranked as the second agricultural commodity export from Brazil, maize production is set to increase by 7 percent from 66 million tons to 70 million tons.
In the period of January to August of this year, Egypt has increased its purchases of maize by 899.4 percent, from 90,310 tons in 2011 to 902,550 tons in 2012, according to Scot Consultoria.
Saudi Arabia has increased its purchases of corn from 159,770 to 402,190 tons in the same period, an increase of 151.7 percent.
Jan Dabrowa, business development director at BrazArtis, said: “The value of the Brazilian agribusiness has reached a peak, and it is set to reach $ 100 billion in 2012. Current exports of oilseeds are being fueled by changing market dynamics that have set the stage for another successful harvest in 2013. In light of the decreased exports by Argentina and unfavorable weather conditions that affected the US crops, Brazil took up a leadership role as one of the main producer and exporter of soybeans and corn.”
On another hand, corn exports to Iran decreased by 26.9 percent from 951,890 to 695,620 metric tons, but the country still stands as one of the leading importers of Brazilian corn in the region.
The exports of soybeans in 2012 are set to reach 17.5 million tons, a 20 percent boost from 2011.
In 2013, a provision for 10 percent increase in planting and 11 percent improvement in average productivity should result in 27.5 million acres planted and potential harvest of 81 million tons of grain.
Around 48 percent of the total production, equivalent to 39 million tons of oilseed will be destined for export.
It is projected by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture that the agribusiness exports will reach a record of $ 100 billion in 2012. In 2010 Brazilian agricultural exports surpassed $ 76.4 billion worldwide, an 18 percent increase from 2009.
They reached a new record in 2011 by totaling $ 94.59 billion, 24 percent higher than in 2010.
Brazil’s exports span across the whole GCC region including the Kingdom, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and Oman.


Brent oil rises back above $80 as Iran sanctions loom

Updated 57 min 58 sec ago
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Brent oil rises back above $80 as Iran sanctions loom

  • The US sanctions on the oil sector in Iran are set to start on November 4
  • other producers may struggle to fully make up for the expected Iran disruption, and that oil prices could rise further

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil prices rose back above $80 a barrel on Monday as markets were expected to tighten once US sanctions against Iran’s crude exports are implemented next month.
Benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at $80.26 a barrel at 0646 GMT, up 48 cents, or 0.6 percent, above their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $69.60 a barrel, up 48 cents, or 0.7 percent.
The US sanctions on the oil sector in Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), are set to start on November 4. The United States under President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero to force the country to renegotiate an agreement on its nuclear program.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Reuters on Sunday that it would be harder for countries to get sanction waivers than it was during the previous Obama administration, when several countries, especially in Asia, received them.
OPEC agreed in June to boost supply to make up for the expected disruption to Iranian exports.
However, an internal document reviewed by Reuters suggested OPEC is struggling to add barrels as an increase in Saudi supply was offset by declines elsewhere.
Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said on Monday that other producers may struggle to fully make up for the expected Iran disruption, and that oil prices could rise further.
Some relief may come from North America, where US drillers added four oil rigs in the week to Oct. 19, bringing the total count to 873, Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday, raising the rig count to the highest level since March 2015.
The US rig count is an early indicator of future output. With activity increasing after months of stagnation, US crude production is also expected to continue to rise.
Reflecting rising US crude exports, the Intercontinental Exchange said its new Permian West Texas Intermediate crude futures contract deliverable in Houston, Texas, will begin trading on Monday.
In addition to the potential for rising oil supply, the ongoing Sino-American trade dispute is expected to start dragging on demand.
“The full impact of the US-China trade war will hit markets in 2019 and could act as a considerable drag on oil demand next year, raising the possibility of the market returning to surplus,” said Emirates NBD bank in a note.
Shipping brokerage Eastport said “Chinese manufacturing is beginning to slow” and that “Trump’s proposal of slapping ... tariffs on additional ... Chinese goods from 1 January would be a further drag on trade.”
K.Y. Lin, spokesman for Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp, a major fuel refiner, said “weaker demand in Europe and the US” was already affecting gasoline profit margins as excess fuel is being sent to Asia.