South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 03/31/14

Brazil Analysts Give Mixed Message on Soy Crop

We received mixed messages about the Brazilian soybean crop over the weekend with two leading farm consultants offering different takes.

Safras e Mercado raised their 2013-14 soybean view to 86.9 million metric tons from 86.1 mmt following a small upward adjustment in planted area and improved weather conditions over the last month.

In contrast, AgRural lowered its crop view from 86.0 mmt to 85.6 mmt following reports of lower-than-expected yields in the northeastern states of Bahia and Maranhao and the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

Despite the diverging news coming out of Brazil, it is fair to say that with the harvest over 70% complete, opinions about the eventual crop size are firming. Many forecasters now peg the crop at between 85 mmt and 88 mmt, although some still have higher figures -- most notably the Brazilian Vegetable Oils Industry Association's 88.6 mmt number.

Safras is correct that the weather has normalized in the south and southeast over the last month, which has been reflected in better reported yields over the last couple of weeks

Meanwhile, dry weather from the south up to the northeast has reduced issues with Asian soybean rust.

According to the Anti-Rust Consortium, led by state crop research agency Embrapa, there have been 391 reported cases of rust so far this season, down 15% on the same stage of last year.

On the other hand, attacks by the Helicoverpa armigera and Falsa-medideira, or Looper, caterpillar have taken their toll and northeastern yields are a concern.

The determining factor will be the yields reported from longer-cycle beans in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul and the northeast over the next couple of weeks.

(AG)

Posted at 1:34PM CDT 03/31/14 by Alastair Stewart
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