March 29, 2016

Brazilian Soybean Crop 67% Harvested, 2% behind Last Year

The 2015/16 Brazilian soybean harvest was 67% complete as of late last week according to AgRural, which is 2% slower than last year. In the number one state of Mato Grosso, the crop is 92% harvested with 88% harvested in the number two state Parana. In Mato Grosso do Sul the harvest is 97% complete with 89% harvested in Goias.

The third leading soybean producing state is Rio Grande do Sul and Emater is estimating that 15% of the soybeans in the state had been harvested as of late last week. In the region of Ijui in northern Rio Grande do Sul (46 municipalities), there is a lot of variability in the yields, but they have been averaging approximately 50 sacks per hectare (43.5 bu/ac) with some as high as 70 sacks per hectare (60.9 bu/ac).

In Nova Mutum, which is located in central Mato Grosso, the soybean harvest is ending with an average yield of no more than 45 sacks per hectare (39.1 bu/ac) compared to the normal yield of 54 to 55 sacks per hectare (47.0r to 47.8 bu/ac). According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), most of the farmers in the region will not be able to cover their cost of production. These low yields are especially a problem for farmers who rent land where the average rent is 10 sacks per hectare (8.7 bu/ac), or about 18% of the typical production.

The other major area that still needs to be harvested is northeastern Brazil. The 2015/16 soybean crop in northeastern Brazil ran into a lot of problems with very heavy rains in January followed by hot and dry weather during February when a lot of the soybeans were filling pods, The early planted soybeans in the region were severely impacted by dry weather during February. The later planted soybeans benefited from rains in early March, but the weather has been generally dry for the last several weeks, which could jeopardize the yields of the later planted soybeans. Soybeans in the region are 20% to 40% harvested.

The states of Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui, and Bahia make up the region known as Matopiba which produces approximately 10% of Brazil's soybeans. INT FCStone is estimating that the average soybean yield in the region will be 41.6 sacks per hectare (36.1 bu/ac), which is down approximately 12% from average. The state of Piaui appears to have been impacted the most and INT FCStone is estimating the yield in the state at 37.8 sacks per hectare (32.8 bu/ac).