Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-262) 32 pp

December 2023

Soybean Production, Marketing Costs, and Export Competitiveness in Brazil and the United States

The production of soybeans, the fourth leading crop produced globally, is projected to reach a record level in marketing year (MY) 2023/24. Combined, soybeans and their derivatives—soybean meal and soybean oil—are the most traded agricultural commodity, accounting for nearly 9 percent of the total value of global agricultural trade. Brazil is now the world’s largest soybean producer and exporter, while the United States and Brazil jointly supplied nearly 90 percent of soybean exports to the world in MY 2021/22. Soybeans stand out as a crucial crop in the expansion of Brazil’s farm sector and the country’s ascent as a top global supplier of agricultural products. This report focuses on the export competitiveness for soybeans in Brazil and in the United States over the MY 2017/18—2021/22 periods, by comparing farm-level production costs, producer returns, the cost of internal transportation, and the cost of shipping to a common export destination. With soybean production in Brazil expected to reach a record high in MY 2023/24, a depreciating Brazilian currency, and the country’s exporting capabilities expecting a boost (from expanding transportation infrastructure), changes in the competitiveness of Brazil will have important implications for U.S. and international agricultural markets.

How to Cite:

Valdes, C., Gillespie, J., & Dohlman, E. (2023). Soybean production, marketing costs, and export competitiveness in Brazil and the United States (Report No. EIB-262). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Keywords: Soybeans, cost of production, producer returns, productivity, agriculture, trade, transportation infrastructure, shipping costs, ports, export competitiveness, Brazil, United States, China

In this publication...