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U.S., Brazil Competitive Balance in Soybeans

The U.S. and Brazil are major competitors when it comes to exporting soybeans around the world.

USDA’s Economic Research Service did a comparison study to figure out how changes in factors underlying production, marketing costs, and infrastructure might affect export competitiveness. Among some of the key findings, the costs of production differed between the two, partially because Brazil relies on more custom services to provide equipment and labor in the field. U.S. farms tend to own their machinery. Average per-acre costs of producing soybeans per acre in Brazil were 19 percent below the U.S. in the marketing year 2021-2022 because of lower land and capital costs. Brazil’s producers had a higher national average return per bushel over total costs than the U.S. in 2021-2022 at $4.05 compared with $2.13. The U.S. Heartland was the lowest-cost exporter of soybeans. Parana in Brazil was the second-lowest shipper as it’s close to a port.

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