South America Calling

AgRural: Brazil's Soy Crop 60% Sold, 76% Harvested

Sales of Brazil's 2015-16 soybean harvest moved forward 5 percentage points in March and remains ahead of schedule, AgRural, a local farm consultancy, said Friday.

Farmers had committed 60% of their crop as of Friday compared with 53% at the same time last year.

Business was slow last month as the rally in soybean futures in Chicago was not sufficient to offset the impact of the strengthening of the Brazilian real.

Sales were most advanced in the center-west, where some 70% of the crop has been committed, up 6 points on the month before.

In southern Brazil, sales progressed 3 points to reach 42% committed.

Drier weather this week allowed harvest efforts to progress well. Fieldwork is now 76% complete, practically in line with the 77% registered at the same stage last year.

Of greatest concern is the continued dry weather in the eastern Cerrado region.

Harvesting is now nearly complete in Mato Grosso and the rest of the Center-West and Parana state.

Fieldwork accelerated in Rio Grande do Sul last week. The southernmost state and No. 3 soy producer has now harvested 30% of its crop, up 20 points on last week but still well behind the 52% registered at the same point last year.

In the eastern Cerrado, continued dry weather means many later soybeans have matured early.

In Bahia, harvesting is 45% complete compared with 25% at the same stage last year. In Piaui, harvesting is 25% complete compared with 15% last year. Early yields are very disappointing.

(AG)

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