Consultant Lowers Brazilian Soybean Crop to 97 MMT

05:50PM Dec 22, 2015
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South American Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier says the drought situation in central and northeastern Brazil has become very serious. "The rains that had been forecasted to fall across this region this week have been taken out of the forecast. They have been replaced with widely scattered light showers, which would result in further deterioration of the crop," he says. "The current forecast is much, much drier than what it was a week ago. This is bad news for farmers in Mato Grosso, Goias, Bahia, northern Minas Gerais and other areas of northeastern Brazil."

December rainfall to date has been well below normal in Mato Grosso -- Brazil's top soybean state -- where moisture deficits range from 47% to 53% of normal, says meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com. "The forecast calls for less-than-normal rainfall in the tropics in the upcoming week, while southern Brazil continues with a very wet forecast," she says. "These rainfall anomalies are consistent with the strong El Nino."

Due to drought conditions, Cordonnier has trimmed his soybean crop peg by 2 MMT to 97.0 MMT and has a lower bias going forward. Additionally, he has lowered his maximum for the crop to 100 MMT and lowered his minimum by 5 MMT from last week to 90 MMT.

"I have been involved in agriculture in Mato Grosso for 43 years (I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mato Grosso before any soybeans were planted in the state) and I have never seen anything like this," says Cordonnier. "The weather in Brazil is upside down this year. If there is going to be a drought, it is usually in southern Brazil and if there is going to be too much rainfall, it is usually in central Brazil. This year is just the reverse."

Dr. Cordonnier 2015-16 Soybean Estimates
Est.
Maximum
Minimum
2014-15

in million metric tons

Brazil
97.0
100.0
90.0
96.2
Argentina
58.0
60.0
56.0
60.8
Paraguay
8.8
9.3
8.3
8.4
Bolivia
3.0
3.3
2.7
2.6
Uruguay
3.5
3.8
3.2
3.5
Total
170.3
176.4
160.2
171.5
Dr. Cordonnier 2015-16
Corn Estimates
Est.
Maximum
Minimum
2014-15

in million metric tons

Brazil
81.2
84.0
78.0
85.4
Argentina
21.6
23.0
18.0
25.5
Paraguay
3.1
3.4
2.7
3.0
Bolivia
0.7
0.8
0.6
0.7
Uruguay
0.5
0.6
0.4
0.5
Total
107.1
111.8
99.7
115.1


Meanwhile, Cordonnier left his Brazilian corn estimate unchanged at 81.2 MMT and has a neutral to lower bias going forward. The full-season corn in southern Brazil is generally doing fine and the excessive moisture has not been much of a problem, he reports. "As far as the safrinha corn acreage is concerned in Mato Grosso, it is still very much in doubt. If the current weather pattern of hot and dry conditions persists through January and February, the safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso will decline significantly," he warns.

Cordonnier left his Argentine crop estimates unchanged from last week, but says he has a neutral to higher bias due to the possibility of acreage increases. "The soybean crop in Argentina is approximately 73% planted, which is about equal to last year and the five year average. Wet weather last week slowed the planting progress and only 4% for the crop was planted last week. In the core production regions, the soybeans are generally more than 95% planted," he says. "In the southern locations, the soybeans are 50% to 80% planted, while in the far northern provinces, the soybeans are still less than 10% planted."