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Record Brazilian Soybean Crop Expected

Earlier this week, Reuters writer Roberto Samora reported that, “Brazil’s soybean crop is expected to reach a record 161.6 million metric tons in 2023/24, agribusiness consultancy Agroconsult said on Wednesday, despite weather issues that are seen keeping overall production below the country’s potential.

“According to Agroconsult, adverse weather with irregular rainfall in center-northern Brazil is set to cap this season’s crop by 7.6 million tons, with most of the losses registered in top grain producing state Mato Grosso.

Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE – U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. Volume 110, No. 47 (November 21, 2023).

Even so, output will be larger than the 159.7 million tons seen in the previous cycle, Agroconsult said, as the planted area is forecast to grow 2.9% to 45.7 million hectares and yields set to improve in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state.”

Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE – U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. Volume 110, No. 47 (November 21, 2023).

Also this week, Reuters writer Gabriel Araujo reported that, “Brazil’s 2023/24 soybean planting had reached 68% of the expected area as of Thursday, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, up 7 percentage points from the previous week.

Sowing continues to lag behind last year’s levels, when 80% of the areas had been planted at the same time, and the current pace was the slowest for the period since 2019/20, AgRural said in a statement.

“The delay comes amid adverse weather in most of the national territory, with excessive rainfall in southern Brazil and lack of humidity in the north and northeast regions, the consultancy noted.”

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates at a Glance. USDA- Economic Research Service (November 9, 2023).

Reuters columnist Karen Braun pointed out this week that, “Insufficient rainfall in Brazil’s top soybean and corn growing state of Mato Grosso has raised questions about the country’s soybean potential. Some industry participants believe a record crop is still possible, but some of the recent conditions stand out.

“Forecasts late on Tuesday suggest that Mato Grosso’s heaviest crop region will finish November with total rainfall around 45% below normal, and that follows a 35% deficit in October. Temperatures over the last month have been noticeably above average, compounding the issue.”

And DTN Meteorologist John Baranick reported on Wednesday that, “Central Brazilian producers have been waiting for a long time, but rain has finally started to move in with a more consistent clip over the past few days and the forecast favors this to continue for a while.

Even so, the dry start to the wet season has been harmful and there are areas of the region that have yet to benefit from the increased rainfall in recent days.

“An analysis of rainfall from Nov. 17-22 shows widespread rainfall occurring across most of Brazil. Rainfall amounts are estimated at 20-60 millimeters (about 0.8 to 2.4 inches) during that time. However, a close examination shows that not all areas have been hit by showers just yet. There are pockets from Mato Grosso to Minas Gerais and points northward that have yet to see the rains fall and are in dire need for that rain to begin. They cannot wait any longer as soybeans planted earlier are shriveling up and decisions need to be made regarding replanting or abandoning either the primary soybean crop, or safrinha (second-season) corn or cotton crop.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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