In this morning's World Supply & Demand Report, USDA lowered its estimate of Brazil's soybean crop by 1 million metric tons (MMT) from last month to 74 MMT -- down 1.5 MMT from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.96 tons per hectare, down 1% from last month due to below-average rainfall in the south during November and December. Area is forecast at a record 25 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.8 million or 3% from last year. The planting pace was ahead of the 5-year average throughout the planting season, with most of the crop planted by the end of December, says USDA.
"Above-average rainfall during October gave nearly ideal planting conditions for most of Brazil," says USDA. "However, below-average rainfall in the south during December reduced potential yields, especially in regions that were planted early where crop stage was in the critical flowering and pod-filling stages during December’s drought."
USDA notes that harvesting started this month in Parana, the second-largest soybean producing state, which reported below-average yields in the early-planted regions located in the western and southwestern portions of the state. "DERAL, the state crop estimating agency for Parana, also reduced their soybean production forecast this month by 1.4 million tons (from 14.1 to 12.7 MT) due to December’s drought and low reported harvested yields in western Parana," adds USDA. "In contrast, seasonal rainfall was beneficial in central and northeastern parts of Brazil. Mato Grosso, the largest soybean producing state in the central west, is expecting a record soybean harvest of 22.2 million tons and above last year’s record crop of 20.4 million tons."
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