Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest BrazilThe Brazilian soybean harvest was 2.2% complete as of Jan. 19, up from 1.5% a year ago and 1.2% on the five-year average. Mato Grosso leads, with 7.5% (about 2.2 million tons), but the return of widespread rains to the state has slowed down the harvest in several areas. More rains are forecasted for the state and will probably prevent farmers from harvesting a total of 7 million tons until the end of January, as forecasted by AgRural in early December.Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás, also in central Brazil, had harvested 1% and 0.2% of their soybean area by Jan. 19, respectively. In Paraná (south), Brazil’s second largest soybean producing state, harvest has had a slow start. Despite the good shape of the crop, some areas planted earlier are not ready for harvest yet because they had a slower development due to lower-than-normal temperatures in October and November.On Jan. 9, AgRural forecasted the Brazilian soybean production at 103.1 million metric tons (mmt), up 7.7 million metric tons from last year. But the soybean crop still has a long way to go in states that plant later, such as the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul and states in the north/northeast of the country, where farmers start harvesting only in late February or early March. Rio Grande is in good shape so far, but more rain would be welcome in the northeast, especially in Bahia. Isolated areas in Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás also have had some troubles due to irregular rainfall.Summer corn harvest (35% of the Brazilian total corn production) is also beginning in Brazil (0.5% by Jan 19), but it’s behind schedule due to excessive moisture in the south. Winter corn planting (65% of the Brazilian total corn production), which is planted right after the soybean harvest, is underway in central states. Delays are expected due to rains in Mato Grosso. By Jan. 19, 2.8% of the total area estimated for south-central Brazil was planted, ahead of 0.8% a year before.AgRural forecasts the Brazilian total corn production at 88.6 mmt, compared to 66.6 mmt last year, when the winter crop was damaged by a severe drought in central states. ParaguayThe country has a good soybean crop on its way and some farmers are already harvesting their first areas. Yield reports are good and our clients there believe that the total production will surpass the USDA forecast of 9.17 mmt. Some areas planted later, however, have been struggling with lack of moisture and high temperatures. ArgentinaWhat’s the real damage caused by excessive rains in Argentina? That’s the billion dollar question right now. In mid-January, Rosario Grains Exchange said that, at that moment, the soybean production could reach 52.9 mmt, compared to an initial forecast of 56 mmt (the USDA forecasts 57 mmt). But they admitted that the number was preliminary and unofficial, since their researchers still have much field work to do in order to assess the damage caused by floods. Also, Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said that 770 thousand hectares of soybeans (1.903 million acres) were impacted by above-than-normal rains in December and January. Plus, 400 thousand hectares (988 thousand acres) will not be planted due to drought in the south of the grain belt and flood in central areas. Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange doesn’t have a production forecast yet. But, although those acreage numbers look pretty bad (the total soybean area initially estimated was 19.6 million hectares, or 48.4 million acres), the exchange said that several areas beaten by above-than-normal rains still have soybeans in good shape. The problem is that more rains are forecasted for central Argentina over the next two weeks. By Jan. 19, 99% of the soybean area was planted.They’re not too concerned about corn, which has a record planted area this year (4.9 million hectares, or 12.1 million acres). According to Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange, 95% of that area was planted by Jan. 19 and about 290 thousand hectares (717 thousand acres) had been impacted by above-than-normal rains.We don’t have clients in Argentina and we don’t go there often (we’re neighbors, but very different countries). We just track their most reliable sources, such as the exchanges. The problem with Argentina is that it’s really hard to forecast their production. They have a very wide planting window even within the same province. Example of their complex calendar: they start planting corn in late August, take a break of three to four weeks in November (for weather reasons), resume in early December and finish planting in late January. Then, they harvest from mid-February until early September. It’s an eternal loop. And no, they don’t grow two corn crops a year, like Brazil. It’s all summer corn. Crazy, right? It is very hard is to estimate corn and soybean production in Argentina.To make a long story short, I would say that Argentina is in trouble for sure, but it’s not as bad as the market was saying until last week, at least so far. If excessive rainfall continues, however, their losses can be really big, especially because some of the flooded areas are among their best, with excellent soils and high yield potential.
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