The growing gap in U.S. & Brazilian soybean production estimates sparks confusion worldwide

The biggest data discrepancy between the USDA and Brazil’s Conab reports are the numbers for usage and stock estimates.

The differences in Brazil’s soybean production estimates from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and its Brazilian counterpart, Conab, are larger than usual this year. The biggest discrepancy in the numbers exists between reported usage and stock estimates.

An economist with the University of Illinois says the discrepancy is sparking confusion worldwide:

“What is the true size of Brazil’s soybean crop? You have these two official government agencies producing very different numbers. So, this year, now the widest gap, it’s been eight and a half million metric tons, or about 300 million bushels. That’s pretty significant in the size of the overall global supply-demand balance for soybeans.”
Joe Janzen, University of Illinois Ag Economist

Janzen shares more about how the USDA and Conab conduct their predictions:

“Yeah, we hear a lot about the methods that different agencies and different private forecasters use to kind of figure out what the size of the crop is. We know that we’re surveying farmers. We’re doing field scouting. We’re looking at satellite data, and all kinds of things that kind of go into the methodology; and we acknowledged that these differences exist. Everyone’s using a little bit different take, and their interpretations of the same numbers might be very different or the same satellite imagery data might differ. So ultimately, what kind of has to explain this is the overall supply and demand balance. That’s where we see this gap opening up.”
Joe Janzen, University of Illinois Ag Economist
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