1.1 Definition and scope of study
Soybean is a type of legume originating in East Asia, whose cultivation has numerous uses beyond food and nutrition. Traditionally soy is used to make milk and tofu. In addition, there are also fermented soy foods, such as soy sauce and miso. This commodity is highly valued for its ability to serve as a substitute for meat and dairy products, and is also a significant and cheap source of protein.
Over 362 million tons of soybean are produced worldwide every year, with the United States being the largest producer with over 35 million hectares of planted area. Brazil is in second place with almost 115 million tons produced, with Mato Grosso being the largest producing state with 32 million tons.
The Brazilian National Supply Company (Conab) forecasts a record harvest of 123.2 million tons for 2020, representing a 7.1% growth over last season. The soy market has been the largest slice of products exported by Brazil for a long time. In addition to the consecutive crop records, the sector benefits from greater efficiency, with modernization and intensive use of technology on several farms in recent years. Another relevant factor affecting the market is the recent trade war between the US and China which has caused a growth in Chinese demand for Brazilian soybeans, as a result of the increase in tariffs applied to American ones.
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