Martell: Weather Outlook Favorable for South America

December 16, 2013 05:19 AM



The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of 

Soybean Potential Improves in Brazil

Brazil's leading soybean state Mato Grosso has experienced a very wet spring. While the heavy rain has encouraged strong growth in soybeans, it has also enhanced the development of rust, a fungus disease. An updated satellite vegetation image valid December 1-10 reveals strong improvement in Mato Grosso, relative to late November. This indicates the effective treatment of rust. This is very positive for Brazil soybean potential, as Mato Grosso accounts for nearly one-third of the national production.

Improved Vegetation Mato Grosso

Soybean prospects have improved in South Brazil also, thanks to increased rainfall in recent weeks. Both Parana and Rio Grande do Sul are "greener" in the early December satellite depiction confirming improvement relative to late November. These are Brazil's number 2 and 3 top soybean states together growing 30 percent of the national harvest.

Generous December Rain South Brazil

The USDA predicts a record 88 million metric tons of Brazil soybeans in the 2013-14 harvest, up 6 MMT from last year's record. Local forecasts from Brazil are higher with 89-90 million metric tons of soybean projected.

Argentina Planting Delays, Favorable Soil Moisture

More rain fell in Argentina's grain belt last week hampering farmer efforts to plant corn and soybeans. Not even 65% of summer crops were sown by December 8th, compared to 80% normally. Producers may still plant short-cycle corn in December, but the yield potential would be reduced. Soybeans are the crop of choice as December to early January is the prime planting period.

Argentina Rain Favors Crops

USDA boosted its estimate for Argentina's soybean crop area to a record 20 million hectares, up from 19.40 million hectares a year ago. At the same time the corn area was revised sharply lower to 3.45 million hectares, 14% below last season.

Field moisture is very favorable in the Argentina grain belt with recurring showers. Above-average temperatures this week would rapidly advance crop growth and development. An El Nino signal in recent weeks may be the reason for strong showers.

Europe Wheat Potential Promising

Wheat prospects this season in Western Europe are much improved over last year, but in Eastern Europe conditions are worse. This analysis is based on vegetative growth October 16-31 obtained via remote satellite. Fall wheat development is very often a good indicator for the final crop yield.

Fall Vegetative Growth 2013The top three wheat producing countries are located in Western Europe, France, Germany and United Kingdom together making up 75.5 MMT of EU-wheat production against only 24 MMT in Eastern Europe wheat the combined amount from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Therefore, while Eastern European wheat potential is reduced relative to last season, the outlook for the European Union at large is better than a year ago.


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