January 16: Brazil Harvests off to Slow Start – So What?

We get amped up about the possibility of significant delays in a harvest, but it ends with farmers catching up quick. We have to manage the pace in our favor…

It feels like we do this to ourselves a lot – you and me. We get amped up about the possibility of significant delays in a harvest, but it ends with farmers catching up quick. We have to manage the pace in our favor…

The delayed Brazilian harvest is no exception. Here are the numbers from Thursday, according to AgRural.

The Brazilian harvest of soybeans sits at 0.1%. That’s a percentage point behind the 1.1% at this point average. It’s also lagging the 0.3% average over the last five years. Naturally, this is a marathon and not a sprint.

But even in Mato Grosso, the 0.3% harvest is well behind the 4% rate from last year.

This comes down to rain in the region. Heavy rains can hurt soybean quality and delay the harvest over the next month. That’s positive for prices after Friday’s WASDE.

AgRural says that soybean production will come in at 114 MMT this season, which is just below last year’s record of 114.1 MMT (USDA figure).

AgRural’s numbers are higher than the 110 MMT set by the USDA in Friday’s World Agricultural Production report. The USDA did hike its projection output for Brazil from December’s estimate of 108.0 MMT.

The USDA has described soybean prospects as “favorable” in its most recent update. It helps when you digest the record acreage. But yields are already expected to decline by 7% from last year’s record.

With U.S. soybean yields down from December estimates, short-term delays to the harvest will offer us some price bumps in the weeks ahead.

Brazil kicks off soybean, summer corn harvests at below-average pace: AgRural

Sao Paulo (Platts)–12 Jan 2018 628 pm EST/2328 GMT


The soybean and summer corn harvests in the 2017-18 season are slowly starting in Brazil, behind the pace seen in recent years, consultancy AgRural said Friday.

As of Thursday, 0.1% of the total planted area for soybeans had been harvested, below 1.1% a year ago and under the five-year average of 0.3% for the same period. An early harvest is seen in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest grain producer and where planting generally starts first. AgRural said 0.3% of Mato Grosso’s soybean fields were harvested as of Thursday, down from 4% last year.

“There were delays in planting due to insufficient rain, so few Mato Grosso areas are ready to harvest,” AgRural said in a report.

It added that farmers must keep focused on the weather forecast, as heavy rain expected in the coming weeks could hamper harvest work and spoil bean quality in the case of high precipitation levels.

While other states historically kick off their harvests close to the same time as Mato Grosso — such as Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias — AgRural said there was no progress worth noting in recent days in those areas, also due to delays in the sowing period.

AgRural said Thursday that Brazil would harvest 114 million mt of soybeans this season, nearly matching the record of 114.1 million mt seen in 2016-17.

Sources note that the pace of the soybean harvest can influence the winter corn crop, which is sown immediately after and accounts for almost two-thirds of Brazilian corn production.

As for the summer corn crop, AgRural said the harvest has already started in Rio Grande do Sul state. The pace of harvest has accordingly reached 0.1% of the total planted area in the Center-South region, below the five-year average of 0.5% for the period.

H/T: S&P Global
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.