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December 16, 2015

2015/16 Brazilian Soybean Production Unchanged at 99.0 mt

The weather in Brazil is like a broken record - lighter than normal rainfall in central and northeastern Brazil and heavier than normal in southern Brazil. It has been this way since the growing season started and it looks like it will continue that way at least for this week.

The forecast for next week seems to indicate improved chances for rain across central Brazil and northeastern Brazil starting the middle of next week. This should allow for farmers in northeastern Brazil to finally finish planting their soybeans. Unfortunately, meteorologists in Brazil are predicting a blocking pattern in the atmosphere starting in mid-January and lasting 10-15 days. The blocking pattern will once again limit the potential rainfall all across central and northeastern Brazil at the critical time of pod filling. That is a long way off of course, but it is not unusual at all to have these short dry periods in central Brazil in the middle of the growing season.

There is a distinct contrast between the condition of the soybean crops in central Brazil and southern Brazil. The dryer than normal conditions continue to impact the soybean crop in Mato Grosso with producers in the hardest hit areas reporting that their soybean yield potential has already been compromised. The affected soybeans are very small in stature (less than knee high) and suffering from extreme moisture stress and high temperatures. A return of the rains next week would be beneficial of course, but if the second half of January would turn dry again, it could spell more problems for the crop.

The weather in southern Brazil is just the opposite with heavy rains continuing to fall across the region. In southern Mato Grosso do Sul, 20 municipalities have declared a state of emergency due to flooding. State officials have reported that 40 bridges have been destroyed and 27 highways have been washed out.

Heavy rains also continue to fall in the state of Parana where the state Secretary of Agriculture in Parana (Deral) reported that the soybean crop is 94% planted and the crop is rated 93% in good condition and 7% in average condition The soybean acreage in the state is estimated at 5.25 million hectares or up 3% compared to last year, while the total production is estimated to be up 7% to 18 million tons.

The 2015/16 Brazilian soybean crop estimate was left unchanged this week at 99.0 million tons and I have a neural bias going forward. There are still soybeans left to be planted in northeastern Brazil and some soybeans will also need to be replanted. Some producers are lamenting that their soybeans should have been planted a long time ago and they are worried about plating soybeans later than ever before. The forecast for next week looks promising for more rain in central Brazil and less rain in southern Brazil, which would be beneficial for both regions.