Brazilian soybean planting progressed within expectations over the past week to reach 69% as of Friday, said AgRural, a local farm consultancy.
With a good portion of early-planted beans now reaching the important flowering stage, the crop is in generally good condition, said the analytics firm. However, a lack of precipitation has become a concern in some regions, it added.
Soybean planting moved forward by 10 percentage points this past week, remaining marginally ahead of the 67% planted at the same point last year but a little behind the five-year average of 72%.
In Mato Grosso, the top soy-producing state, planting is now 91% complete, up from 85% last week.
Planting is basically complete in the northern of the state reaches, where ample rainfall over the last couple of weeks has left the crop in excellent conditions.
The same cannot be said for the south of Mato Grosso, and to a lesser extent in the east and west, where there are growing farmer gripes about the lack of soil moisture.
In Parana, the No. 2 soybean state, planting progressed 12 percentage points last week to reach 84% of projected area, slightly ahead of the five-year average.
The state's crop looks in good condition but, almost universally, they would benefit greatly from a good dousing over the next week. According to AgRural, almost all farmers are complaining, or starting to complain, about a soil moisture deficit.
In contrast, Rio Grande do Sul, the No. 3 state, received heavy rain last week, bringing planting to a halt in some regions for two days. However, there was still time for planting to jump from 17% to 33% complete over the course of last week, beating the pace set last year when 29%.
In the center-west state of Goias, the No. 4 state, planting was 82% complete, up from 78% last year. Rains over the last week in the big-producing southeast of the state offered relief to the crop, which looks in generally very good condition, said AgRural.
The weather forecast for the coming week holds good news for farmers waiting rain in the south.
A cold front will move into southern Brazil from Tuesday, bringing heavy rains to all the main producing areas in Rio Grande do Sul and Parana, according to Somar Meteorologia, a local weather service.
However, regions of Mato Grosso will not receive the deluges they are looking for with nothing more than scattered showers on the charts, it said.
AgRural forecasts Brazil will produce 88.7 million metric tons (mmt) of soybeans, up 9% on the year before.
Alastair Stewart can be reached at email@example.com
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