South America Calling

Brazilian Soy Harvest 52% Complete; AgRural Cuts Forecast to 99 MMT

By Alastair Stewart

Brazil's soybean harvest moved forward briskly over the last week, reaching 52% complete as of Friday, up from 50% as the same point last year, said AgRural, a local farm consultancy, Friday.

Progress totaled 11 percentage points over the week with big jumps in figures seen across most of the major states.

Mato Grosso, the leading soy state, had harvested 77% of its crop as of Friday, up from 64% last week but slightly back from the 80% registered at the same point last year.

In Goias and the Distrito Federal, fieldwork was 74% complete, up from 56% last week and 72% last year.

In Parana, the No. 2 state, harvest was 68% finished, up from 53% last week and 55% at the same stage last year.

AgRural lowered its 2015-16 soybean crop view from 99.7 million metric tons (mmt) to 99 mmt due principally to the hot, dry weather in the Mapitoba region in the eastern Cerrado in February.

The production outlook was also lowered for Parana due to excessive rain.

Indeed, the overall Brazilian forecast would have declined further had it not been for some better-than-expected performances in other states, most notably Mato Grosso, Agrural said.

The Matopiba region is having a difficult soybean season. At the end of 2015, a lack of rain delayed planting and then, after a wet January, precipitation stopped in February just when crop were hitting reproductive phases.

As a result, in Maranhao and Tocantins, where the crop is 12% and 19% harvested respectively, average expected yields were reduced from 40 bushels per acre to 36 bpa.

In Piaui, where 8% of the crop has been harvested, yield projections were lowered from 37 bpa to 35 bpa.

Despite the return of sparse showers in March, a part of the losses in the region are irreversible.

In Parana, excessive rain and a lack of sunlight prompted a 0.4 bpa drop in average yield forecasts to 48.6 bpa.

In compensation, the yield outlook for Mato Grosso was raised marginally 44.9 bpa to 45.0 with results from medium-cycle beans and beans in the south compensating for losses to early harvested beans.



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