Brazil Agribusiness Outlook 2020

In 2019, Brazilian agribusiness was profoundly affected by the repercussions of the US/China trade dispute and the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China. The impacts, positive and negative, of these events on prices and trade flows is visible in Brazil’s export performance for 2019 – for example, while the value of Brazil’s meat exports rose by 13% compared to 2018, soybean export revenues declined by 21% versus 2018, as a result of lower volume and lower prices.

collage of Brazilian food & agriculture

Report summary

“ASF and the US/China trade dispute thus made 2019 a tough year for soybeans, often seen as a barometer for Brazilian agribusiness in general,” according to Andy Duff, head of RaboResearch South America. “However, with these events dominating the headlines, the fact that the same year was spectacular for Brazilian corn and cotton could easily be overlooked. Not only were local prices good, but in 2019, Brazil became the world’s second-largest exporter of cotton, and consolidated its positon as the second-largest corn exporter.”  

The influence of ASF and the US/China trade dispute will persist into 2020. For Brazil’s animal protein sector, there is the promise of high prices and strong export demand. For the soybean sector, however, any recovery in revenues in 2020 is uncertain, depending not only on the evolution of ASF, but also on US/Chinese trade relations – thus it is little wonder that the expected expansion in soybean area in 2020 is the most timid in years.

  • Andy Duff

    Head of RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness - South America; Global Strategist - Sugar
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  • Andrés Padilla

    Senior Analyst - Beverages, Dairy, F&A Supply Chains
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  • Victor Ikeda

    Senior Analyst - Grains & Oilseeds
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  • Matheus Almeida

    Senior analyst – Farm Inputs
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  • Guilherme Morya

    Analyst - Beverages
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  • Wagner Yanaguizawa

    Analyst - Animal Protein
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