South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 12/17/12

AgRural Sees Brazil's Soy Crop at 82.2 MMT

With 2012-13 soybean planting virtually complete and only a month until harvesting begins in some parts of Mato Grosso and Parana, it looks increasingly likely that Brazil will enjoy a bumper crop, AgRural, a local farm consultancy, said Monday.

As a result, it added 300,000 metric tons to its December crop estimate, taking output to a projected record 82.2 million metric tons.

The figure is in line with other estimates, which increasingly are huddling at the top end of a range from 79 mmt to 83 mmt, and is 24% higher than the year before.

However, there is still a long way to go for later-planted beans in Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and the new frontier regions of the north and northeast, where weather conditions in January and even February will be vital in determining the size of the crop, AgRural said in a report.

Beans are currently developing well across Brazil's massive grain belt, said the consultancy.

In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soy state, yields will be in line with last year, despite planting delays.

However, in neighboring Goias, the No. 4 state, where the September/October dry spell was more pronounced, there will be a small decline in yield potential.

In Parana, the No. 2 state, generous rains in most regions since October means the crop is developing well and output is expected to jump 41% on the year before.

Once again, the biggest question mark is over the size of the crop in Rio Grande do Sul, the No. 3 state. Last year, the state's crop was ravaged by drought and this year some spots have been dry again. However, AgRural still predicts a crop of 11.6 mmt, up 78% on the year.

According to Somar Meteorologia, a local weather service, the weather over the next week will continue to be generally positive for soybeans.

Showers of varying intensity are predicted across Mato Grosso this week, topping up on the above-average precipitation of the last five weeks.

Parana will be dry but that is no disaster after it received 60% of average December rainfall in the previous two weeks.

Dryness will continue for the next four days in Rio Grande do Sul, but the spell will be broken Friday when a cold front brings up to 4 inches of rain. That front will then move up into Parana.

Posted at 9:48AM CST 12/17/12 by Alastair Stewart
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