Mar 14, 2023

2022/23 Brazil Soybeans 53% Harvested vs. 64% Last Year

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

Dryer weather has allowed the soybean harvest to approach completion in Mato Grosso while it remains behind schedule in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul. Brazil's soybeans were 53% harvested as of late last week compared to 64% last year and 57% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 10% for the week. The harvest is nearly complete in Mato Grosso with 96.7% harvested, but still slow in Parana.

The final soybean estimate will depend on what happens in Rio Grande do Sul. Conab is estimating the soybean production in the state at 15.18 million tons, but Emater is estimating the crop at 14.16 million tons and there are some estimates as low as 12.5 million tons.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso are close to completing their 2022/23 soybean harvest with 94.8% of the soybeans harvested compared to 96.7% last year and 90.2% average. This represents an advance of 6.7% for the week. The harvest should be wrapped up within about a week.

The graph below shows the 2022/23 soybean harvest progress in Mato Grosso (red line).


Parana - The farmers in Parana had harvested 30% of their soybeans as of late last week compared to an average of 50% according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). This represents an increase of 13% for the week. In February, farmers in Parana sold their soybeans for an average of R$ 158.14 per sack (approximately $13.85 per bushel), which was down 3% from January and down 14% compared to February 2022.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans were hardest hit by hot and dry weather in the western and southwestern regions of the state and the earlier planted soybeans were impacted more than the later planted soybeans. In the worst areas of the state, the soybean yields are expected to be down 30-50% from initial expectations. In the best areas of the state, yields are down about 5%.

In the municipality of Tapes in southeastern Rio Grande do Sul, the soybeans that were planted in late October and early November endured 22 days without rain and temperatures up to 40°C (104°F). The yields of these early planted soybeans are down 20 to 30% from initial expectations. The later planted soybeans should have better yields and the southeastern region of the state will have higher yields compared to other regions of the state.

Sao Paulo - In the municipality of Candido Mota in southern Sao Paulo (just north of the border with Parana), farmers are expecting very good soybean yields, but the problem is that wet weather is keeping the combines out of the field. The soybean harvest is less than 40% compared to 80% last year. Soybean yields are expected to be in the range of 65 to 75 sacks per hectare (58 to 67 bu/ac).

While the soybean yields are good, the prices are 30% below the start of last year's harvest. Since the cost of production increased this year, farmers are holding tight to their soybeans waiting for improved prices.

Additionally, the slow soybean harvest is also slowing the safrinha corn planting. The ideal planting window closed at the end of February, but only 30% of the safrinha corn has been planted. Any corn planted in March runs an increased risk of dry weather and/or frost before the corn has a chance to mature.