But according to a report from the American Soybean Asssociation, presidential congressional liaison Aldo Rebelo is confident that the Senate will pass the bill in time to allow soy growers to plant GMO soy legally this year.
The report says that members of the congress' government coalition disagree with the liaison's assessment of the situation. "There's not enough time for the bill to pass," said a spokesperson for Senator Ideli Salvatti, a Senate leader for the ruling Worker's Party. "With municipal elections coming up, the Senate lacks the necessary quorum to pass the law," she added. Another obstacle is that once the Senate approves the bill, it must return to the lower house for approval.
Along with the US, Brazil is a leading producer and exporter of soybeans, used extensively in the food industry for a wide range of purposes. As health concerns continue to drive market growth for soy ingredients, the market has been enjoying strong year on year growth, despite tight supplies.
And vegetable oils are taking the lion's share of the oils and fats market in the US as food makers continue to turn away from animal fats in favour of vegetable alternatives.
Prices have risen over the past year, reaching 15-year highs due to a squeeze in supplies, but fresh figures from the August WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) report released last month by the US government suggest that soy stocks should rise significantly this year on the back of improved harvests across the globe.
"Overall, the estimated global stocks-to-use ratio rose by six days to 88 days, which would be the highest level in 18 years and the second highest on record," reports investment bank Goldman Sachs, adding that it had argued for several months that soybean prices "were too high given the robust global stock levels".