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Brazil forecasts a grains harvest of 312 million tons, but climate conditions will hinder soybeans

Brazilian farmers are expected to harvest some 312 million tons of grains and oil seeds in the 2023/2024 crop, which will be 2,4% lower than the record volume of the previous crop.

According to Conab the Brazilian Supply Corporation this is because of modest rainfall and high temperatures in the center west states, while in the south, mainly Rio Grande do Sul there has been an excess of rainfall. These climate conditions have had an impact on wheat and soybean, according to the 2023/24 grains survey released by Conab last week.

“We will have to double our monitoring of production areas since the behavior of climate this year, somehow erratic is becoming a determining factor for the sowing of crops or in the process of development because of El Ni;o phenomenon, Likewise certain delay with soy plantations means uncertainty for the second harvest of maize,” pointed out Silvio Porta, head of Conab agriculture and information policy.

Conab also points out that rice production is estimated to increase 7,5%, and could reach 10,79 million tons which is good news for the domestic market. This is because of a greater area planted as well as an improved yield. The counter news is that the excess of rainfall in Rio Grande do Sul, the leading rice state, is delaying the maturing of the grain given the excess humidity.

However when it comes to soybeans, of which Brazil is the leading global exporter, Conab estimates farmers will collect 160,18 million tons, less than the 162,42 million tons it has forecast originally last November, also because of delays in sowing caused by El Niño.

Conab said that by December early December, 83.1% of the soybean areas had already been sown while in the 2022/23 cycle areas planted had reached 90.7%.

“In some states, irregular rains and high temperatures have already impacted the yield potential of crops, which is why we reduced our production estimate for soybeans this harvest”. Conab has lagged private consultancies, which were quicker to cut Brazil’s soybean output potential in recent weeks due to adverse weather conditions.

When the season started, most consultancies expected Brazil’s soybean harvest to be around 164 million tons. But as lack of rains in the Center West of Brazil delayed planting, or forced many farmers to replant crops, expectations were lowered to as little as 150.67 million tons by at least one forecaster.

Source: Merco Press