Brazilian truckers have been striking against high government diesel prices for the past two weeks, which means trucks that should be hauling the country’s soybeans have been kept idle. This resulted in a double-digit rally in U.S. soybean futures prices for the week of February 23, and potentially more foreign buyers of U.S. soybeans.
On March 1, Brazilian police cracked down on the striking truckers, arresting protesters and clearing roadblocks. By evening, there were only 12 roadblocks nationwide, compared with 52 the day before.
On February 27, old-crop soybean futures closed at between $10.30 per bushel for March and $10.10 for September. November new-crop futures remained below $10, closing at $9.96.
USDA has reported that the 2014 U.S. soybean crop was valued at about $40.29 billion, based off an average national price of $10.20 per bushel. That’s compared with $43.48 billion for 2013, with an average price soybean of $13.
Two of Brazil’s largest soy-exporting ports have warned that dwindling soy stocks at the ports could affect exports if the roadblocks continued. The country’s largest soy-exporting port has been operating normally for the past week.
The strike has not only slowed grain deliveries, but it also has forced meat processing plants to close and started to result in bare shelves at some grocery stores.
Brazil truck strike helps boost U.S. soybean prices