South America Calling

Brazilian Soy Planting Progresses on Improved Weather

A break in the rain in southern Brazil and the return of showers in the Cerrado this week allowed farmers to make up some of the soybean planting delays.

Planting progressed 11 points across Brazil in a week, due in good part to frenzied activity in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, to reach 81% complete, AgRural, a local farm consultancy, reported Friday.

However, fieldwork remains behind last year's pace -- planting had reached 85% at the same stage -- and the five-year average of 89%.

In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soybean state, planting is now almost complete at 95% and the beans that went into the ground in September are in the pod-filling stage. Ample showers fell across most of the state this week, easing some of the much-commented dryness issues, the consultancy said.

Neighboring Goias also benefited from good rains, which alleviated dryness and allowed planting to jump from 72% to 91% complete.

Another dry region that received rain was the northeast. The precipitation allowed planting to move forward by 25 points to 40% in Bahia and nine points to 14% in Piaui, AgRural said. Despite the return of tractors to the fields, planting continues well behind schedule in the region though.

Looking to the south, in Rio Grande do Sul, planting progressed an impressive 24 points to reach 73% complete as of Friday.

BRAZIL SOY MARKET SLOW IN NOVEMBER

Meanwhile, Brazil's soybean market was slow in November with the strengthening of the Brazilian real.

Forward sales of the 2015-16 crop progressed just three points in November to reach 44% sold as of Friday. That remains well ahead of the 26% sold at the same stage past year, but not far in front of the five-year average of 40%, AgRural said.

After sliding dramatically in September and October, the real recovered somewhat in November, pushing prices lower. With so much soy already sold, and concerns over possible losses in the Cerrado, farmers opted for caution and didn't sell.

Farmers in Mato Grosso had sold 50% of their 2015-16 crop as of Friday, up from the five-year average of 47%.

(ES)

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