Brazil's Infrastructure Likely to Worsen

Very little has been done to fix the country's crippled port structure

Brazilian Ag consultant Céleres has cut its projection of U.S. 2013-14 soybean production by six percent—to 84.9 million tonnes, lower even than USDA's guess of 88.5 million tonnes.

Meanwhile back in Brazil, Céleres says 36% of Brazil's bean crop has now been harvested, and half of it sold.

Yields are looking good in Mato Grosso state despite too much harvest-time rain. However, the January-February dry weather in southern Brazil hit production hard.

A Mato Grosso agronomist said, "In our clients' fields, we've seen average losses of 15%, or 6.7 bushels per acre." Excess rains at harvest have slowed second-crop corn planting, caused big dockage, and made hauling beans a real challenge on muddy roads.

Infrastructure woes
Speaking of infrastructure, what's your gripe about government mismanagement of tax dollars? Join the club, as we've all got our favorite complaints.

But Brazilian farmers just may have you beat in terms of reasons to gripe. Next to nothing has been done to fix Brazil's port structure in the year since the Chinese cancelled multiple loads of Brazilian beans and foreign ships gave up waiting in line to load up at Brazil's ports.

The country's losses due to the port mess last year were estimated to have cost some $2.5 billion.

Yet, the Brazilian government saw fit to spend $682 million on a port--- in Cuba.

A recent Rabobank report pointed out that not a lot had changed in terms of Brazil's infrastructure since last year, and Brazilian producers like Rodolpho Botelho note rising transport costs.

"The cost of freight to the ports gets more and more expensive, and that has cut into producers' margins."

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