Dec 27, 2023

2023/24 Brazil Soybean Estimate Lowered 2.0 mt to 153.0 Million

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

Rainfall increased last week in central and northeastern Brazil but amounts and coverage were variable and generally less than what was needed for the drought plagued areas. The forecast is calling for more rain, but the models have been overly optimistic concerning future rainfall in Brazil, so it is important to wait and see if the rains verify.

The current rain, and any rain in the future, is coming too late to help the early maturing soybeans in central Brazil. Farmers across central Brazil are estimating yield losses of 15% to 30% for the early maturing soybeans. The later maturing soybeans would be helped by any rain that may fall, but I do not think the later maturing soybeans will be good enough to compensate for losses incurred with the early maturing soybeans. Any future rain would probably slow down the yield losses, but not add back any of the lost yields.

Mato Grosso - Mato Gosso has probably been the state hardest hit by hot and dry weather and it is the largest soybean producing state. Below is a sampling of pictures concerning soybeans in the state. These pictures should be viewed as the worst-case scenario for soybeans in the state

The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 1.0% harvested as of late last week compared to 0% last year according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). The early maturing soybeans were hit hardest by the hot and dry weather and early yields are very low. Aprosoja/MT estimates that soybean yields in the state will be down 20% and the state will produce 36.15 million tons of soybeans, down 9.16 million tons from last year. Conab is currently estimating the state's production at 43.49 million tons, or 7.3 million more than Aprosoja/MT

A survey by Aprosoja/MT indicated that 27.5% of the soybeans in the state were rated poor/very poor, 37.7% were rated average, and 34.3% were rated good/excellent. In the municipality of Campos de Julio in western Mato Grosso, early soybean yields are in the range of 7 to 20 sacks per hectare (6.2 to 18 bu/ac). Other locations are also reporting similar yields and some farmers are in the process of replanting their soybeans.

A number of cities in the state have declared a state of emergency due to the dry weather including: Sorriso, Diamantino, Canarana, Alto Paraguai, and Agua Boa.

Parana - The soybeans in Parana were 30% in vegetative development, 36% flowering, and 34% filling pods as of earlier last week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The soybeans are rated 1% poor, 11% average, and 88% good. Deral is estimating the 2023/24 soybean production in the state at 21.73 million tons, which is down 3% compared to last year.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul were 90% planted as of late last week with the slowest planting in the southern part of the state due to excessive wetness. The earlier planted soybeans were impacted by the excessive rainfall, but they have started to recuperate with the recent dryer weather. The soybeans planted after November 15th have been developing normally.

In the municipality of Ijui in northern Rio Grande do Sul, soybean planting is wrapping up 20-30 days later than normal due to previously wet weather, which puts the planting outside the ideal planting window. Farmers are on the alert to start applying fungicides to control soybean rust which has been found in their area.

Goias - In the municipality of Jatai in southern Goias, farmers planted their soybeans on time in September, but 15 days of hot and dry weather in November and 14 days of the same conditions in December have compromised the soybeans' yield potential.

Producers in the region estimate that the soybean yields will be down 10 to 25% from original expectations and they could decline more before harvest begins in approximately 40 days. Soybean prices in Jatai are in the range of R$ 115 to R$ 118 per sack (approximately $10.66 to $10.95 per bushel) compared to R$ 159 per sack in 2022 (approximately 14.75 per bushel).

Minas Gerais - Hot and dry weather in the municipality of Araguari in northwestern Minas Gerais has compromised the soybean development with estimated yield losses of 30-40%. Emater-MG is reporting that 78% of the municipalities in northern Minas Gerais have critical water shortages for animal and human consumption.