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The record 2010 soybean harvest in South America was drawing to a close, but soybean futures traders seemed unimpressed as futures prices in the United States surged above $10 a bu for the first time since January. Traders suggested the record outturn already was priced into the market. At last week’s outset, the Brazilian harvest was estimated at more than 90% completed, and the Argentine harvest was more than 70% completed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on April 9 projected record soybean crops in South America and in each of the continent’s three major producers: Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. South American soybean production in 2009-10 was estimated at 131,977,000 tonnes, up 35,442,000 tonnes, or 37%, from the drought-reduced harvest of 96,535,000 tonnes the previous year. The South American crop exceeded by 15,706,000 tonnes, or 14%, the previous record outturn of 116,271,000 tonnes in 2006-07. Brazil’s soybean crop was

estimated at 67,500,000 tonnes, up 9,700,000 tonnes, or 17%, from 57,800,000 tonnes in 2008-09. The previous record outturn in Brazil was in 2007-08 at 61,000,000 tonnes. Argentina’s crop now being harvested was estimated at 54,000,000 tonnes, up 22,000,000 tonnes, or 69%, from 32,000,000 tonnes in 2008-09 and up 5,200,000 tonnes, or 11%, from the previous record crop of 48,800,000 tonnes harvested in 2006-07. The Paraguayan soybean crop was estimated at 7,000,000 tonnes, up 3,100,000 tonnes, or 79%, from 3,900,000 tonnes in 2008-09 and compared with the previous record of 6,900,000 tonnes harvested in 2007-08.

With the United States also harvesting a record crop in 2009, at 91,417,000 tonnes, world soybean production in 2009-10 was estimated at a record 257,464,000 tonnes, up 45,691,000 tonnes, or 22%, from 211,773,000 tonnes in 2008-09, and up 20,281,000 tonnes, or 9%, from the previous record world crop harvested in 2006-07 at 237,183,000 tonnes.