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October 31, 2012

Brazil Planting Progress Continues to be Uneven

In southern Brazil the spring planting has been impacted by too much rainfall while in the center-west, southeast, and northeast regions of Brazil, it has been impacted by a lack of rainfall. Nationwide approximately 30% to 32% of the 2012/13 soybean crop has been planted, which is 10% behind last year's pace, but slightly ahead of the five year average.

Mato Grosso - In the state of Mato Grosso approximately 50% of the soybeans have been planted compared to 58% last year at this time. The largest soybean producing municipality in Brazil is Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso, and the farmers in that municipality have planted approximately 78% to 80% of their intended 2012/13 soybeans. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimates that there will be 633,400 hectares of soybeans planted in the municipality (1,565,000 acres), which represents 8% of the soybean acreage in the state. Sorriso is expected to produce about 3% of Brazil's 2012/13 soybean crop.

Soybean planting in the state is more advanced in the central region and less advanced in the western and eastern regions of the state. The soybean planting in Mato Grosso started out 10 days earlier than last year, but it has subsequently slowed down due to the irregular rainfall. While it is getting somewhat late, the soybean yields in the state could still be normal if the weather cooperated during the remainder of the growing season.

Parana - In Parana the soybean planting is about 48% complete, which is slightly behind the average planting pace. Even though the early rains have not been ideal, they have been good enough for farmers to continue planting. While farmers in some regions would like to see additional rainfall, no one is talking about any potential yield losses. The full-season corn crop in Parana is approximately 80% planted. As an illustration of the dominance of soybeans in the state of Parana, soybeans will occupy 81% of all the acres devoted to grain production in 2012/13.

Rio Grande do Sul - In Rio Grande do Sul, the start of the soybean planting has been delayed by consistent wet weather over the last few weeks. The soybean planting in the state is approximately 6% complete, which is about average, but planting could be slow this week due to the heavy rains that swept across the state over the weekend. Corn planting, which had a slow start, has now caught up to the average planting pace with 62% of the crop planted, which is slightly ahead of the average pace.

The wheat crop in the state has been significantly impacted by a series of adverse weather events including: two episodes of frost, wind damage, hail damage, and heavy rains as the crop has matured. Approximately 22% of the wheat has been harvested and there are many reports that the quality of the wheat is so poor that farmers are simply abandoning the crop without being harvested. The situation could even get worse if wet weather continues to impact the state.

Minas Gerais - The state of Minas Gerais is one of the principal corn producing states in Brazil, but corn planting has been slow due to dry conditions. According to state civil defense officials, 124 municipalities are in a state of emergency due to the drought which started last January (the state has a total of 853 municipalities). These 124 municipalities represent approximately 15% of the state. Local officials in the drought areas have contracted 150 water tankers to deliver water to drought stricken rural residents. The forecast is for scattered showers to move into the dryer areas of the state later this week.

Goias - Of the states in central Brazil, soybean planting in Goias is the most delayed with only 33% planted compared to 51% in 2011. The forecast is for additional showers to move into the state later this week.