Sep 28, 2021

Rainfall Prospects Improve in Brazil, but Still Scattered and Uneven

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

After an extended dry season and recently very high temperatures, it looks like the weather pattern in Brazil might be slowly turning the corner. The rainfall last week was generally confined to far southern Brazil and far northern Brazil with little rain in central Brazil, but that may be changing.

According to the Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet), the high-pressure ridge which has kept rain out of central Brazil, is expected to start breaking down. Central Brazil has been dry and under intense heat for the last several weeks, but that started to change over the weekend when there were scattered showers across central Brazil. This week looks relatively dry in central Brazil with improved chances of rainfall in the 6-10 day period.

Most of the rainfall this week is expected to fall in southern Brazil with more in the 6-10 day period. Inmet is more optimistic for rainfall during the first week of October with the potential for up to 3-4 inches in parts of southern Brazil. Parts of central Brazil could receive up to 2-3 inches during the first week of October.

The soil moisture is still too dry for most farmers in Brazil to start planting their 2021/22 soybeans but soybean planting in Brazil should get off to a better start than last year when dry weather delayed planting a month or more across wide swaths of Brazil. If the Brazilian soybean crop gets planted on time, that would bode well for the safrinha corn and safrinha cotton that would be planted next January and February.

La Nina - Inmet is forecasting a return of La Nina that they are predicting will be short-lived and weak in intensity. For the southern states, Inmet is forecasting below normal rainfall during October and November with a return to normal rainfall in December. For central Brazil, the forecast is for normal but irregular rainfall during October and November. Temperatures for the next three months are forecasted to be above normal for a large part of Brazil.

Parana River Basin - Inmet is forecasting that it will take until at least February of 2022 before the rainfall in Parana River Basin is sufficient to recharge the reservoirs and water level in the Parana River. The Parana River Basin in Brazil includes the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, Goias, Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina, and southern Mato Grosso. Inmet indicated that it has been at least 6 years since there has been above normal rainfall in the Parana River Basin.

Rainfall in 2020 was the lowest since the 1970's only losing out to the drought of 1963. Inmet is forecasting that between September 2021 and February 2022, the rainfall in the Parana River Basin will be 11% below average.

Hail impacts coffee in Minas Gerais - Last Saturday, there were strong thunderstorms in some of the coffee regions of western Minas Gerais including two hours of rain and approximately 30 minutes of heavy hail. Pictures from the area showed the ground completely covered by several inches of hail, just like if it had snowed. The extent of damage to the coffee is yet to be determined. This is the latest problem for a crop that suffered from a historic drought and then freezing temperatures on July 20th. In many areas, the temperatures in July were the coldest in 25 years. Everyone was waiting for this highly anticipated first rain of the growing season, unfortunately the rainfall was accompanied by damaging hail.