Agroconsult was the latest consultancy in Brazil to update its soybean production projection to 114.1 million metric tons. The surface planted was increased to 86.4 million acres in a scenario where the yields fell 3.5% compared to the previous season.
“The surface increase of soybeans will occur mostly over soybean crops due to the expressive reduction of the profitability of the grain. Secondarily, we will have yet the contribution of pasture areas for this growth”, explains André Pessoa, associate director at Agroconsult.
The first consultancy in Brazil to estimate a production above 114 million metric tons was Porto Alegre-based Safras & Mercado in December. Back then, their projection was already 114.6 million metric tons.
Rains that fell in the last weekend in dry areas in the major producing regions of Argentina helped producers to end the soybeans planting, according to climate expert Natalia Gattinoni from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA). Farmers in this state worried that excessively dry in the North of the province of Buenos Aires was blocking the planting of soybeans in some areas.
“In the Central and Northern parts of the country the rains were significant, but inconsistent. Some areas had an important volume of rains, while others have not,” stated Gattinoni.
For instance, parts of the Córdoba province and the major location of Junín in the North of the Buenos Aires province received more than 1.9 inches of precipitation, she added. Farmers further in the South were not as lucky.
“It rained a little bit in the North of the country in the weekend. It did not rain here, but we already planted all the soybeans we planned to sow,” said Fernando Meoli, a producer in the South of the Buenos Aires province, in an interview to Reuters. He relied on 0.7 inches of rains and achieved to end planting last week.
Argentina is estimated to harvest 52 million metric tons in this season, according to the Rosario Board of Trade. The previous estimate was 52 million metric tons.
Consultancy INTL FCStone revised its estimate for the Brazilian soybean crop from 107.6 million metric tons to 110.1 million metric tons. The adjustment came because of higher yields, but the area planted has not suffered alterations.
According to INTL FCStone, even with delays on planting, due to the slow normalization of rains, currently the crop conditions are very favorable and the climate has contributed for a positive perspective. Therefore, the average productivity expected was 3.15 tons per hectare.
“Anyways, the climate keeps following the crops passing through grain filling. In the states where planting takes place later, the climate in February is also determining”, affirms the consultancy.
For corn, INTL FCStone did not bring changes in comparison to the December numbers. The estimated output is 23.4 million metric tons, a fall of 23% compared to the previous cycle. Overall, the climate is favorable, but in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where the conditions are drier, there is worry about the impact on some fields. “Anyways, the yield project is already lower for that state”, says the consultancy.
It is still early to talk about the second corn crop, but INTL FCStone reduced the projection to 63.2 million metric tons because of a lower surface in the state of Paraná.
A recent official report in Argentina reveals that the lack of moisture has advanced to more regions in recent days. December rains in key areas of Córdoba and the Buenos Aires provinces have improved conditions, but still, in those provinces, there are areas with a severe scarcity of moisture. Yet, the worst cases of dryness are in the Northern parts of the country. A low pressure systemis expected for the end of the week in all key regions.
Rains in key regions of Argentina ranged from 1.1 inches to 3.9 inches during this weekend. Nearly half of the total surface in Argentina is under dry conditions, especially in the South of Córdoba, South of Santa Fe, and Northwestern Buenos Aires. “It was a relief”, said Esteban Copatti, Chief of the Department of Agricultural Estimates at the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange. Copatti, on the other hand, highlighted that Córdoba still needs more rain.
The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange released a new report yesterday (12.14) with updated crop conditions in Argentina. The soybean planting in the country is still delayed and reached 63.5% of the estimated surface of 44.7 million acres. The half of the remaining area is expected to be planted in the coming two weeks if the weather helps.
Recent rains have improved conditions, but they were still insufficient to generate a major work progress. The risk pointed out by the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange is that a lot of the grain will be out of the commercial market. Compared to the same period of last year, there is a delay of three percentage points for soybeans.
In the case of corn, the works have advanced to 45.3% of the total surface of 13.3 million acres. The weather has been a worry for crops in the Northern provinces of Chaco and Salta.
After the United States has decided to impose duties on Argentinian biodiesel as anti-dumping measures, Argentina reacted changing its tax structure for biofuels. In August, the U.S. issued duties of 57% against the Argentinian product. In October, the rate was increased to 72.28%.
The Argentinian export tax structure had a lower rate for biodiesel than for soybean oil. In June, the export tax on biodiesel was zeroed, while the export tax for soybean oil was rated at 27%. These differences were interpreted by the U.S. government as an incentive for biodiesel and an unfair competition. Starting in January of 2018, the rate will be unified at 8%.
In 2014, Argentina exported 170,000 tons of biodiesel to the United States. The volume exported jumped to 1.5 million metric tons last year or US$ 1.2 billion. Argentinian authorities expect a new gesture from the U.S. government with the change.
Argentina’s annual biodiesel production is 2.2 million metric tons, being 1.1 million metric tons sold in the domestic market. The processing capacity installed in the country is 4.5 million metric tons.
The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) revealed this week that soybean sales advanced 5.8 percentage points to 38.6% of the total production estimated.
Though there were these recent strong commercial movement in the Brazilian state, the prices are below what they paid last year and sales are also slower than the previous season.
Brazil’s National Supply Company (Conab) released this morning (12.12) a new report that foresees an overall drop of the country’s grain production of 4.7% compared to the previous season. The total grain production in the country is expected to fall to 237.7 million metric tons.
Considering soybeans alone, the output would fall from 114.1 million metric tons from the previous season to 109.2 million metric tons. In the meantime, total corn production is estimated at 92.2 million metric tons – five million metric tons less. The output harvested in the summer would be 25 million metric tons and the second crop would be about the same of last yera – around 67 million metric tons.
For Conab, the Brazilian soybean surface is expected to increase by 3.1% to 86.4 million acres, but the production would be lower because of lower yields. The corn area would drop 9.6%, which is a reduction of 1.3 million acres.
Raw cotton production is expected to reach 1.7 million metric tons this year, jumping 10.5% compared to the previous season. The rice output is expected to reduce by 5.8% to 11.6 million metric tons.
Pablo Adreani, an Argentinian analyst at AgriPac, a consultancy from Córdoba, affirmed this weekend that the remaning acres that need to be planted in Argentina are threatened by the lack of rain. According to the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange, soybean sowing reached 53% of the estimated surface and the planting of corn got to 4o% of the projected area. The weather forecast there will be no rain in most Argentinian regions in the last 15 days of December.
“This week, if there is not important rains, there will be only two weeks in which we could plant. This situation is extraordinary and could be a lethal factor to the market”, said Pablo Adreani in his column at Buenos AIres prominent newspaper La Nación. One of the exceptions is the region of Rio Cuarto, Córdoba, which will have some precipitation in the last days of the year, according to the current weather forecast. “We are in a full weather market and, if there no miracle, we will see a brand new situation in the country. Nearly 50% of the hectares planted in the summer are at stake,” reads his column.
Pablo Adreani yet forecasts that there will be a strong volatility in the market in the coming days. “There is no doubt that we will have from now one of the most volatile and extraordinary markets, which would be impossible to foresse prices. While that happens, the farmer continues to be ‘sat’ on soybeans,” said the analyst referring to the 12 million metric tons of soybeans stocks in Argentina. Farmers await for a gradual reduction of soybean taxes in the coming year to sell.