Dow Jones News reports that Brazil's 2004-05 soy crop is projected to reach a record 61.16 million metric tons, 23% higher than the 2003-04 crop, according to a report issued Friday by the local Safras e Mercado agricultural consultants.

However, the Safras projection is lower than the 63.57-million-ton estimate it issued in early December.

Exports are seen increasing 19% to 23 million tons, while soy crushing is expected to increase 14% to 33 million tons, according to the report.

With the increased crop, Safras projected that Brazil will end 2005 with 5.08 million metric tons of soybeans in stock, an increase of 119% over 2004 levels.

Brazilian producers have harvested 6% of the 2004-05 soy crop to date, according to Safras estimates.