(Adds details from interview, Conab and Abiove estimates, byline)
By Roberto Samora
SAO PAULO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Brazil is “revisiting” its soybean output estimates for the 2018 and 2019 crop seasons, an official told Reuters on Wednesday, as discrepancies with private-sector estimates raised doubts about the accuracy of the government’s supply and demand figures.
Guilherme Bastos, director of information and public policy at food statistics agency Conab, mentioned a hefty soybean export forecast from oilseeds association Abiove as one factor triggering the ongoing revision.
“The balance of supply and demand is tight, there is no space for exporting 72 million tonnes of soybeans” this year, Bastos said by phone, referring to Abiove’s view.
He said there is no timeline for the revision’s conclusion, nor is it certain that the numbers will be revised.
Conab has projected Brazil will export 70 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2018/2019 period driven by strong Chinese demand.
Abiove, which represents trading firms like Cargill and Bunge, estimates domestic soybean production more than 6 million tonnes above the government’s in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons combined.
While Conab sees Brazil output at 115 million tonnes this year, Abiove pegged output at 117.6 million tonnes.
For last season, Conab estimated Brazilian farmers collected 119.3 million tonnes of the oilseeds, while Abiove’s numbers pegged production at 123.1 million tonnes.
Reporting by Roberto Samora Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang