South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 06/23/14

Brazilian Non-GM Soy Premiums Ebb

While genetically modified soybeans have long dominated Brazilian soybean farming, conventional beans have staged something of a comeback over the last couple of years.

Farmers were lured to non-GM soybeans by yields equivalent to Roundup Ready and the prospect of premiums of up to $1 per bushel.

But the growth of non-GM soybean production now looks like it is stalling.

The problem is that demand from Europe is weakening as many, most notably the Germans, become more flexible about GM soybeans.

This means fewer elevators are willing to pay premiums for conventional beans, according to Ricardo Tatesuzi de Sousa, executive director of the Brazilian Non-GMO Grain Producers Association (Abrange).

With planting decisions largely taken for the upcoming 2014-15 season, it is likely that non-GM soybean planting will decline next year

Planting of GM soybeans rose 11% to 68 million acres in the 2013-14 season, boosted by the commercial introduction of Monsanto's Intacta RR2 Pro.

Intacta RR2 Pro actually offers an opportunity for non-GM beans to grow. The Bt-traited beans need a refuge, which could easily be planted with conventional beans. But that tendency will be put in check if premiums for non-GM beans are more limited.

According to Celeres, GM beans accounted for 92% of Brazilian planted area this season.

(AG)

Posted at 1:00PM CDT 06/23/14
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