BRASILIA, BRAZIL — Brazil is expected to produce a record amount of soybeans in 2021-22 and increase exports, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Production is estimated at 145 million tonnes, which compares with 137 million tonnes in 2020-21. The estimate is based on a yield of 3.58 tonnes per hectare.

“Although there is concern for the planting of second-season crops if soybean plantings slow down, at this point there is no impact for soybean yields, as long as weather patterns are normal during the rest of the growing season,” the USDA said.

Key reasons for year-over-year yield gains include growers’ adoption and investment in technology and the use of cutting-edge chemicals and fertilizers, the report said.

Increasing global demand and high domestic soybean prices are encouraging farmers to expand their soybean production. Planted area is estimated at 40.5 million hectares in 2021-22, up from 39 million hectares.

Soybean exports are estimated at 92 million tonnes, up from 85.3 million tonnes a year ago. The estimate is based on expectations of ample available supplies and a favorable exchange rate, the USDA said.

“The export forecast also assumes that global demand for soybeans will continue to hold steady if pandemic situation continues to improve in 2022, and that increased vaccination will mitigate the negative impacts of the Delta variant,” the USDA said.

China is expected to remain the top importer of Brazil’s soybeans as it looks to rebuild its swine herd following the African swine fever outbreak in 2019.