Soybean field. Image courtesy of Meredith Petrick on Unsplash

Brazil's oilseed industry is expected to increase processing capacity by 9% in 2024 from this year, industry group Abiove estimated on Tuesday, after the sector announced 6 billion reais ($1.24 billion) in investments in the area.

Abiove, which represents major traders and processors in Brazil, such as ADM, Bunge and Cargill, expects capacity to increase by 19,000 metric tons per day next year, reaching a total of 228,600 tons/day.

Yearly capacity is projected to reach 75 million tons, it said.

In 2023, processing capacity sits at 69.2 million tons per year, or 5.6% above the previous year. Nearly all of that figure, 67.9 million tons, refers to soybean processing.

Brazil is the world's largest soybean producer and exporter.

Abiove's survey also showed that the number of industrial processing units in the country rose to 129 this year, from 122 in 2022, while the number of idle plants fell to 22 from 27.

Last week, Abiove said the country's soybean exports in 2023 should reach nearly 100 million tons.

($1 = 4.8561 reais)

Reporting by Roberto Samora