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March 17, 2016

Second Half of March should be Dryer in much of Brazil

The Brazilian soybean harvest has passed the half way mark and a forecast for dryer weather during the second half of March should allow the soybean harvest to continue generally unabated. The rainy season in Brazil usually starts to diminish during the second half of March and meteorologists for Somar Meteorologia are forecasting that it will again be the case this year as well.

The first half of March was relatively wet in much of Brazil. In the municipality of Sorriso, which is in central Mato Grosso, it rained every day for the first ten days of March. Fortunately, most of the soybeans in the region had already been harvested. The wet weather did help the safrinha corn in the region that is currently in vegetative development. The forecast for the second half of March in central Mato Grosso is for dryer weather.

In northeastern Brazil, a dryer second half of March would not be good news for the later planted soybeans. The weather in northeastern Brazil this growing season has been extremely variable. The weather was very dry during October, November, and the first half of December, which delayed the start of soybean planting. The rains started in late December and turned torrential during January. February ended up being very hot and dry with very little rainfall during the entire month. During the first half of March, the rains picked up somewhat and the second half of March is expected to be dryer once more.

The early planted soybean in northeastern Brazil were severely impacted by the dry weather during February which was when the crop was filling pods. Those soybeans are now being harvested and yields are very disappointing. The later planted soybeans have benefited from the rains during the first half of March, but they will continue to need rainfall for at least another month to complete the pod filling process.

In southern Brazil, the wet weather during the first half of March led to delays in loading vessels at the Ports of Santos and Paranagua. The wait time for vessels to load soybeans at the Port of Santos is in the mid-50 day range with vessels waiting for 40 days or more at the Port of Paranagua. The second half of March is expected to be dryer, which should allow for more active soybean exports.