May 02, 2019

Winter Wheat in Parana 11% Planted and Rated in Good Condition

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Farmers in the state of Parana in southern Brazil have been actively planting their 2019 winter wheat crop. According to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), 11% of the winter wheat has been planted and the crop is rated in good condition. The state of Parana is Brazil's largest wheat producing state followed by the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The percentage of wheat planted in the state represents an increase of 7% from the prior week and it is well ahead of last year at this when the wheat was only 1% planted. The 2019 wheat planting is well advanced thanks to generally good weather during most of March and April. Wheat planting in Parana generally starts in late April and ends in late July.

Farmers in Parana are hoping that a good wheat crop can at least partially compensate for what was a disappointing 2018/19 soybean crop. Hot and dry conditions from late November until mid-January negatively impacted the early maturing soybeans that were filling pods during that period.

Last year's wheat crop in Parana started off poorly and never fully recovered. The 2018 wheat crop was negatively impacted by dry weather during planting and emergence resulting in a less than desirable plant population. The wheat was then impacted by several episodes of frost during its development. The final problem for the crop were heavy rains that delayed harvesting and resulted in lower quality.

Deral is estimating that the state will produce 3.29 million tons of wheat in 2019, which would represent an increase of 17% compared to 2018. Deral also reported that the 2018/19 soybean and full-season corn harvests are essentially complete and that all the 2019 safrinha corn has been planted.

Brazil generally only produces about half of its domestic wheat needs, which means that it needs to import 6-7 million tons of wheat on an annual basis. The vast majority of Brazil's imported wheat comes from Argentina, but in 2019, Brazil will allow 750,000 tons of imported wheat from countries outside of the Mercosur Trading Block (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Wheat imported from outside the trading block would face a 10% duty, but that has been eliminated for 750,000 tons of wheat and U.S. exporters are hoping to capture some of that business.