Feb 14, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 23% Harvested vs. 19% Average

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

The heaviest rainfall last week as in northern Brazil. Dryness continues to stress late crop growth in southern areas. Farmers especially in Rio Grande do Sul are hoping for rain and the forecast is calling for increased chances of rainfall this week in southern Brazil. Rainfall in northern Brazil will be lighter this week.

Brazil's soybean yields continue to be frustrating low in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, and Tocantins. The lowest yields are from the early maturing soybeans that were planted in September and the first half of October. Higher soybean yields are being reported in Minas Gerais and parts of Goias. The later developing soybeans in central Brazil are expected to have higher yields, but that has not happened yet.

In their February Crop Report, Conab lowered their estimate of the 2023/24 Brazil soybean crop by 5.86 million tons to 149.4 million, which is a reduction of 3.7% from their January estimate. In the February WASDE Report, the USDA lowered the 2023/24 Brazil soybean production 1.0 million tons to 156.0 million.

Brazil's soybeans were 23% harvested as of late last week compared to 17% last year and 19.6% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 7% for the week. Mato Grosso leads the way with 51.5% harvested.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso had harvested 51.5% of their soybeans as of late last week compared to 44% last year and 45% average according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). This represents an advance of 12.3% for the week. The most advanced harvest is in western Mato Grosso where 76% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest is northeastern Mato Grosso with 27% harvested.

Imea is estimating the 2023/24 soybean production in Mato Grosso at 38.44 million tons, which is down 1.4% from January and down 15.1% from the 45.6 million produced in 2022/23. Imea is estimating the average soybean yield in the state at 52.8 sacks per hectare (47.2 bu/ac).

In the municipality of Rondonopolis in southeastern Mato Grosso, the soybean harvest is just getting underway and early yield results are disappointing, in the range of 4 to 40 sacks per hectare (3.5 to 35 bushels per acre). The president of the Rural Union of Rondonopolis attributes the low yield to the hot and dry conditions during October and November that impacted the early maturing soybeans and delayed the end of the soybean planting until December for some producers.

The municipality of Rondonopolis recently declared a state of emergency due to the dry conditions and low commodity prices for many rural residents. A declared state of emergency makes it easier for producers to renegotiate their production loans and to renegotiate with grain companies if they are unable to meet their forward contracts. Imea reported the average price for soybeans last week in Mato Grosso was R$ 94.91 per sack (approximately $8.60 per bushel).

Dry conditions could delay the safrinha corn planting until additional rainfall improves the soil moisture. September has been the only month this growing season with above normal precipitation. Rainfall during the October through January period has been running about 60% of normal. Below is the 2023/24 soybean harvest progress in Mato Grosso (red line) from Imea.


Parana - The soybean harvest in Parana reached 25% as of last week compared to 7% last year. This represents an advance of 6% for the week. The most advanced harvest is in western Parana. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is estimating that Parana will produce 19.2 million tons of soybeans in 2023/24 compared to 22 million in 2022/23.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are 25% filling pods, but recent dry weather has led to moisture stress especially in the northwestern part of the state. The soybeans in the state were planted late due to earlier excess moisture and the hope had been that good yields in the state would help to compensate for lower yields in central Brazil, but that may now be in doubt due to the recent hot and dry weather. The state has also recorded 88 cases of soybean rust, but the recent dry weather appears to have slowed the disease advance.

Bahia - Farmers in western Bahia are finalizing the harvest of their irrigated soybeans and they will start harvesting the dryland soybeans at the end of February. This has been one of the most challenging years for farmers in the state due to the poor distribution of rain and high temperatures which delayed the soybean planting past the ideal planting window. Soybean yields are expected to be disappointing especially for the dryland soybeans that were planted in December.