SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Brazil is expected to produce a record amount of soybeans in 2022-23 with better-than-expected yields for early harvested fields, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Production is estimated at 153 milllion tonnes based on a yield of 3.533 tonnes per hectare.

Producers also are reporting a lack of sunshine between rain periods, creating a “winter-like” weather pattern, the USDA said.

“If this continues, soybean yields have the potential to significantly decrease because the soybean becomes too moist and does not have the ability to dry,” it said, leading to loss in quality due to mold and a loss in exports.

Soybean exports are estimated at 97 million tonnes, based on favorable production, anticipated decreased production on the international market, especially Argentina, and a returned demand from China.

The USDA said with a “voracious” appetite for Brazilian soybeans by China, stocks will remain at very low levels, hovering around 0.5% of domestic supply for 2021-22 and even lower in 2022-23.

“Historically, this is the lowest level that stocks have ever hit in Brazil,” the USDA said.

No export restrictions are anticipated. Instead, traders and producers will focus on sales to take advantage of the upside in prices.