SAO PAULO, Brazil (DTN) -- The Brazilian 2015-16 soybean crop will reach a record 101.7 million metric tons (mmt), up sharply from 97.2 mmt last year, Agroconsult, a local farm consultancy, said Wednesday.
The consultancy only marginally adjusted its forecast compared with the 101.6 mmt published in February and established its number at the high end of expectations.
The estimate was compiled based on the findings during the Rally da Safra crop tour, which for the last two months has traveled through Brazil's main soybean-producing regions.
"It has been a difficult year, but the result will be similar to last year," Andre Pessoa, an Agroconsult director, told a press conference in Sao Paulo.
Average yields were in fact marginally up on last year at 45 bushels per acre, he noted.
A case in point is Mato Grosso, Brazil's largest soy-producing state, where late planting and dry weather in the north and east hurt some crops, but record yields in the west compensated and overall yields dropped only marginally to 46 bpa.
In Parana, the situation was set for a bumper crop but problems with excessive rain, excessive cloud and Asian rust cut output potential at the end of the cycle. As a result, average yield in the state will be 48 bpa, actually slightly down on the prior year.
In the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, the outlook is very good as the harvest gets under way, although it was slightly impeded by the more recent wet weather. Still, the state will yield more than last year at 45 bpa.
The biggest losses will be registered in Mapitoba, the eastern Cerrado region, which was hurt by late planting followed by dry weather in February. As a result, yields in the region will be down 15% to 20% on last year.
But better performance in places like Goias and Minas Gerais offset losses.
Alastair Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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