Oct 18, 2023

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 17% Planted

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

The 2023/24 Brazil soybean production was left unchanged this week at 162.0 million tons and I have a neutral bias going forward. The rainfall in east-central and northeastern Brazil has been erratic, so that is the area to watch. I would estimate that the area of concern represents maybe 18-20% of Brazil's total soybean production.

These areas could still have acceptable soybean yields if the weather improves and stays beneficial for the remainder of the growing season. The concern is that the weather may be problematic this growing season due to El Nino which can result in below normal rainfall in central and northern Brazil. Thus far, the concern is not great enough for me to lower the production estimate, but that may not be the case in a couple weeks if the weather does not improve.

The forecast is calling for scattered showers in central Brazil with above normal temperatures which will maintain moisture shortages and stress on early growth in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Bania. Far southern Brazil is expected to receive heavy rains again this week maintaining excess wetness.

Soybean planting in Brazil lost a little steam last week due to high temperatures and irregular rainfall. The 2023/24 Brazil soybeans were 17.3% planted as of late last week compared to 24% last year and 17% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 7% for the week. The state of Parana leads the way with over 40% of the soybeans planted.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso planted 35% of their soybeans as of late last week compared to 41% last year and 28% average. This represents an advance of 20.8% for the week, which is a good week of planting. The most advanced planting is in the mid-north region where 50% of the soybeans have been planted. This is the principal soybean growing region of the state. In western Mato Grosso, which is an important cotton growing region, 45% of the soybeans have been planted. Some soybeans in Mato Grosso may need to be replanted due to poor plant populations caused by dry conditions.

Planting progress could have been more advanced in the state had it not been for the eradiate nature of the rainfall, especially in eastern Mato Grosso. Rainfall coverage is expected to increase before the end of the month. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating that the 2023/24 soybean acreage in the state will increase 0.82% to 12.22 million hectares (30.1 million acres) and the production will decline 3.3% to 43.78 million tons vs. 45 million last year due to lower yields. Below is the soybean planting progress (red line) from Imea.


Parana - The weather in Parana has been advantageous for soybean planting which surpassed 40% as of late last week according to Patria Agronegocios. This is one of fastest planting paces in recent years. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is expecting farmers in the state to plant 5.8 million hectares of soybeans in 2023/24 (14.3 million acres).

If the weather cooperates for the remaining of the growing season, the state is expected to produce 21.9 million tons of soybeans, which is just slightly less than the record of 22 million tons produced last year. Analysts for Deral speculate that production could be as high as 23 million tons if the weather continues to be beneficial.

Current soybean prices in the state are R$ 123.00 per sack (approximately $11.20 per bushel), which is down 25% from last year at this time. Fortunately for the farmers, the cost of production has declined 30% compared to last year, which should result in positive margins for producers.

Rio Grande do Sul - Rio Grande do Sul is one of the last areas in Brazil to plant soybeans mainly because much of the soybeans are planted after wheat. No soybeans have been planted yet and Emater estimates that the wheat harvest was 11% as of last week with 9% flowering, 38% filling grain, and 42% maturing. Farmers are concerned that the recent wet weather has already lowered the quality of the wheat.

Yields of the early harvested wheat are down 12% from initial expectations to 3,026 kg/ha (45 bu/ac) and it might fall even further. Farmers are concerned that their wheat may be poor quality due to the wet weather and be rejected by millers.