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October 31, 2018

Brazil's Soybeans being planted at Record Fast Pace

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The weather last week was once again good for rapid soybean planting and early crop development. There were good rains last week across central and southern Brazil and the rains moved into northeastern Brazil over the weekend.

The soybean planting in Brazil advanced 12% last week to 46% according to AgRural. This compares to 30% last year and 28% for the 5-year average and it continues to be a record fast planting pace for the 2018/19 soybean crop.

Mato Grosso - In Mato Grosso the soybeans are 77% planted compared to 43% last year and 40% for the 5-year average. This represents an advance of about 22% for the week and it continues to be a record fast planting pace for the state. The most advanced planting is in the western part of the state where 88% of the soybeans have been planted. The slowest planting is in the northeastern part of the state where 52% of the soybeans have been planted.

In the mid-north region of the state, farmers have planted 80% of their soybeans. This is also the region with the highest concentration of safrinha corn. This rapid soybean planting pace is important because it will almost guarantee that all the safrinha corn will be able to be planted before the ideal planting window closes about February 20th.

Farmers in Mato Grosso have sold 33.8% of their anticipated 2018/19 soybean production compared to 21.3% last year. Stronger soybean prices have encouraged farmers to forward contract more of their soybeans. In Rondonopolis, Mato Grosso the average selling price is now in the range of R$ 75.00 per sack compared to R$ 62.30 per sack last year (approximately $9.10 per bushel compared to $7.55 per bushel last year depending on the exchange rate). At the Port of Paranagua in southeastern Brazil, the soybean price today is in the range of R$ 89.00 per sack compared to R$ 71.00 per sack last year (approximately $10.80 per bushel compared to $8.60 per bushel last year depending on the exchange rate).

Parana - Heavy rains especially in northern Parana has slowed the soybean planting in the state. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported early last week that 59% of the anticipated soybeans had been planted in the state compared to 66% last year. Planting had been proceeding at a record fast pace, but recent wet weather has slowed down the planting. In fact, a few fields in northern Parana may need to be replanted due to the saturated conditions, but it is too early to talk about any potential losses.

The heaviest rains have been concentrated in northern Parana. According to grain specialists from Emater/PR, (which is equivalent to the Extension Service in the U.S), soybean planting the northern part of the state generally starts on about October 10th in contrast to western Parana where plating can start a month earlier.

Soybean planting started much earlier in western Parana where the temperatures are generally hotter due to the lower elevation, which is generally below 600 meters. Approximately 2 million hectares of soybeans in western Parana are completely planted, which is a record fast completion for that part of the state.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul have planted 62% of their soybeans compared to 40% for the 5-year average. In the municipality of Douradina, which is located in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the soybean planting is wrapping up with prospect of a very good yields. If the weather for the remainder of the growing season remains good, yields could surpass earlier estimates. In this part of the state, farmers are expecting soybean yields in the range of 70 to 80 sacks per hectare (62 to 71 bu/ac).

Farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul continue to be slow sellers of their crops, just like everywhere else in Brazil. In Mato Grosso do Sul, soybean prices are in the range of R$ 75.00 per sack (approximately $9.00 per bushel depending on the exchange rate), farmers are not too pleased with these prices because their costs have increased. Corn prices are in the range of R$ 25.00 per sack (approximately $3.00 per bushel depending on the exchange rate), which would make margins very tight for corn producers.

Goias - Farmers in Goias have planted 62% of their soybeans compared to 20% for the 5-year average.