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March 31, 2016

Mato Grosso Shipping Equivalent of One Vessel of Soybeans per Day

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The volume of soybeans shipped out of the state of Mato Grosso on the Ferronorte Railroad continues to increase. Several years ago, the largest grain terminal in Latin America was built at what was then the terminus of the Ferronorte Railroad at the city of Rondonopolis in southeastern Mato Grosso. This was the third grain terminal in the state and by far the largest grain terminal on the rail line that connects Brazil's largest grain producing state of Mato Grosso with the Port of Santos in southeastern Brazil, which is Brazil's largest port.

The soybean harvest in Mato Grosso is now approaching 70% complete and the export season is ramping up. According to a story in the newspaper Diario de Cuiaba, on a daily basis, seven unit-trains with 80 grain cars each leave the Rondonopolis terminal loaded with soybeans bound for the Port of Santos. Another two trains per day leaves their Alto Araguaia terminal for Santos. Combined, these nine trains transport 50,000 tons of soybeans per day out of Mato Grosso or the equivalent of 1,400 trucks and enough to load one vessel per day at the port.

During the month of February, the Port of Santos received 288,000 tons of soybeans from Mato Grosso making it the number one destination for soybeans from the state. Second was the Port of Santarem on the Amazon River at 175,800 tons followed by the Port of Paranagua at 117,260 tons. Export facilities on the Amazon River are gaining an ever larger share of the soybeans exported out of Mato Grosso and their share is expected to increase quickly with the completion of highway BR-163 sometime this year linking Mato Grosso and the Amazon River.

Conab estimates that Brazil will produce 101 million tons of soybeans in 2015/16 and that 56.7 million tons of soybeans will be exported this year along with 15.5 million tons of soybean meal and 1.4 million tons of soybean oil. The majority of these products will be heading to China.