Oil World cuts Argentine, Brazil soybean forecasts

Hamburg-based Oil World said it has cut its forecast of Argentina’s 2012 soybean crop to 46.5 million tonnes from 48.5 million tonnes forecast on Jan. 24 and 52.0 million tonnes forecast in December.
This would be down on the 49.2 million tonnes harvested in 2011 in Argentina. Argentina is the world’s third-largest soybean exporter, with the United States the largest and Brazil in second place.
Oil World said it has cut its forecast of Brazil’s 2012 soybean crop to 70 million tonnes from 72 million tonnes estimated on Jan. 24 and 72.8 million it forecast in December.
This would be down on the 75.3 million tonnes Brazil harvested in 2011.
Droughts in the two South American countries have been a major issue in soybean markets in past weeks, with Argentina in special focus. [ID:nL2E8CRJ8C] [GRA/]
“There is increasing concern about this year’s South American crops,” Oil World said, adding that recent rainfall had not been enough and irreversible crop damage was now being suffered.
Forecasts of only scattered South American rainfall in the two weeks to Feb. 12 imply continued crop stress and further soybean deterioration, it said.
The lower South American harvests will contribute to a global soybean production deficit this season that will enforce a “pronounced decline” in soybean stocks, it said.
“The soybean and corn crop losses in South America will shift foreign demand to the U.S. origin in 2012,” it said. “This is likely to result in lower-than-expected U.S. stocks at the end of this season.”
(Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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