August 3, 2018 / 5:47 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil soybean sales speed up, says consultancy

(Adds report details, context)

SAO PAULO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian soybean growers have sped up sales for both the current season and the next crop, signs of strong demand and attractive prices, according to data from consultancy Safras & Mercado released on Friday.

Safras said sales of soy from the 2017/18 campaign, which is nearing its end, have reached 84 percent of production compared with 74 percent at this time last year and 82 percent of a five-year average.

The consultancy estimates Brazil produced 119.41 million tonnes of soybeans in 2017/18. Based on that, it projects that farmers have sold so far 99.93 million tonnes.

For the new season, for which planting is expected to kick off in September in central Brazilian states, Safras believes sales are at 18 percent of expected production versus 8 percent last year and 20 percent of a five-year average.

The analyst sees stable output for the next season, at 119.78 million tonnes. Based on that projection, it says farmers have sold forward 21.49 million tonnes of soybeans.

There has been increased demand from China for Brazilian soybeans due to the trade spat between Beijing and Washington. China is charging an additional tariff of 25 percent on imports of U.S. soy.

Chinese soy importers have been seeking cargos in Brazil at a time when normally that trade would shift to the United States due to the different periods of the crops. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira Editing by James Dalgleish)

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