Bucking the trend for reducing Brazilian soybean crop forecasts in recent weeks, the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry basically maintained its view Thursday.
Output from the 2015-16 crop will total 102.1 million metric tons (mmt), down marginally from 102.4 mmt in December, according to CONAB, the ministry unit that conducts crop research. That is some 6% higher than last year.
CONAB recognized that crops in Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soy-producing state, had been affected by a lack of rain.
"There is a consensus among those consulted that the lack of rain will cause a fall in yields and early planted soybeans will be the worst effected," said the report.
But CONAB still forecasts respectable yields for the state at 46.0 bushels per acre, down just 1.3% on last year.
The report also highlights concerns of farmers in southern Brazil about excessive rain, lack of sunlight hours and disease. But, overall, yields in the region are still expected to rise 1.5% on the year to 46.3 bpa.
CONAB noted the dryness issues in the Matopiba region in the eastern Cerrado but did not significantly alter its forecasts.
The survey was conducted between Dec. 13 and Dec. 19.
The CONAB forecast is something of a surprise when you consider that most analysts now predict a crop of less than 100 mmt. Last week, USDA lowered its estimate to 98 mmt.
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