Feb 14, 2019

2018/19 Soy Production in Paraguay could be down as Much as 30%

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

According to data from the Paraguayan Grain and Oilseed Merchandizers and Exporters Association (Capeco), even though the 2018/19 soybean yields in Paraguay have improved as the harvest moved into the later maturing soybeans, they started out so poor that they may end up being down as much as 30% compared to last year.

When the first soybeans were harvested in December, the yields were very low in the range of 1,500 to 1,800 kg/ha (22.2 to 26.6 bu/ac). These early maturing soybeans were severely impacted by hot and dry weather during the last half of November and December when the soybeans were filling pods.

During the month of January as the farmers harvested their medium maturing soybeans, the average yield improved to approximately 2,200 kg/ha (32.5 bu/ac).

Yield reports from early February indicate further improvement in yields, but they are still below the three year average. The rainfall started to improve as the later maturing soybeans were filling pods resulting in the improved yields. It is possible that the average soybean yield might improve a little more as farmers harvest the rest of their later maturing soybeans.

In northern Paraguay, farmers have harvested 80% of their 2018/19 soybeans and yields are down as much as 30% to 40%. In some areas, the last significant rainfall was at the end of November. Average soybean yields in northern Paraguay are in the range of 33 to 41 sacks per hectare (29 to 36 bu/ac).

Overall, Capeco is expecting that the Paraguayan soybean production might be down as much as 30% from last year when the country produced approximately 10 million tons of soybeans. In their February WASDE Report, the USDA lowered their estimate of the 2018/19 Paraguayan soybean crop to 9.5 million tons compared to their estimate of 9.8 million tons in December.

Farmers in Paraguay are allowed to plant a second crop of soybeans and corn and there are reports that the dry conditions are impacting the planting of these second crops as well.