Soybean planting in South America may climb to a record as moisture conditions improve in some areas, Oil World said.
Farmers in South America’s top five producing countries may plant 54.2 million hectares (133.9 million acres) in the 2013-14 season, 2 million hectares more than last year, the Hamburg- based researcher said in an e-mailed report. Brazil may plant a record 29 million hectares, up from 27.7 million the prior year. Argentina’s sowing at 19.7 million hectares will be 3 percent larger than a year earlier. South American production in early 2014 may top last year’s record of 145 million tons if rain expands in dry regions, according to the report.
"Brazil could become the world’s largest producer of soybeans in 2013-14 if our current estimate of soybean plantings is achieved and if weather cooperates," Oil World said. "The biggest question mark currently surrounds the planting prospects in Argentina, where recent rains were much too light to break the drought in the central and northern areas."
Growing conditions are favorable in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, Oil World said. Rain is forecast by the end of the month for dry areas in Brazil’s Mato Grosso, the top growing region, where planting has been delayed. Argentine farmers may shift some corn and sunflower area to soybeans, because the oilseed is usually planted later and there is still time for moisture conditions to improve, it said.
Argentina’s corn area was estimated at 4.3 million hectares, down from 4.6 million a year earlier, while sunflower area at 1.6 million hectares will drop 3.6 percent, Oil World said. Brazil’s corn area was pegged at 15.4 million hectares, down from 15.9 million in the prior season, and cotton area may jump 33 percent to 1.2 million hectares, the report showed.
South American soybean exports have been "unusually high" in recent months, with shipments 4 million tons larger than the prior year in August and 2.25 million tons bigger in September, Oil World said. Exports have increased to China, the European Union, Japan, Thailand and Egypt, it said. The U.S. has historically been the largest producer of the oilseed.