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March 13, 2014

Conab Slashes Brazil's Soybean Estimate 4.57 Million Tons (-5%)

In their sixth evaluation of the 2013/14 growing season Conab reduced the Brazilian soybean estimate 4.5 million tons from 90.03 million to the current estimate of 85.44 million or a reduction of 4.57 million tons (-5%). The stated reason for the decline was adverse weather in eastern and southern Brazil during the critical pod filling period.

The biggest declines in soybean production were registered in the states of Parana, Minas Gerais, and Goias. The state with the largest overall decline was Parana which dropped more than 2 million tons in one month from 16.73 to 14.68 million tons (-12.2%). The northern part of the state encountered extremely high temperatures in January and more than 30 days without rainfall resulting in soybean yield losses of 40% or more in the region.

The southeastern state of Minas Gerais registered a decline of 13.9% in its soybean crop from 3.77 to 3.30 million tons. The problem in the state was also the hot and dry conditions registered during January and early February. A similar situation occurred in the state of Goias where the soybean estimate declined 8.6% from February to March (9.46 to 8.64 million tons).

Nationwide, the Brazilian soybean yield is now estimated at 2,867 kg/ha (41.5 bu/ac), which is a decline of 2.4% compared to the 2,938 kg/ha (42.6 bu/ac) achieved in 2012/13. The soybean acreage was increased slightly from the previous month (+134,000 hectares) to 29.8 million hectares or 7.4% more than the previous growing season.

The 2013/14 Brazilian corn estimate was trimmed slightly from last month's estimate of 75.46 million to the current estimate of 75.18 million tons. The full-season corn estimate was trimmed slightly month-to-month and the safrinha corn estimate was increased slightly from the prior month. Conab now estimates that the full-season corn crop will be 31.42 million tons (41.8% of the total) and the safrinha corn crop will be 43.75 million tons (58.2% of the total).

The full-season corn acreage is down 5.1% compared to last year and the safrinha corn acreage is down 3.9% compared to the last growing season. The full-season corn lost acreage in southern Brazil as farmers switched to more soybeans. The safrinha corn acreage declined due to farmers planting more cotton and soybeans as a second crop in Mato Grosso and more winter wheat as the second crop in Parana.