Feb 26, 2024

Potential Low Rainfall in Brazil Worries Hydroelectric Operators

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

The Brazilian National Electrical System Operator (ONS) is warning its members that operate hydroelectric facilities that the rainfall between February and July is forecasted to be the fifth lowest in history. The water flow at their facilities during the six-month period is predicted to be 51% to 78% of the historical average.

Brazil is highly dependent on hydroelectric power and the rainfall during the summer rainy season, which is between October and February, is critical to replenishing the water in the hydroelectric reservoirs. Unfortunately, the weather in central Brazil during October and November was extremely hot and dry, which limited the recharge of the reservoirs.

By the end of July, ONS is forecasting that the water reserves in the reservoirs in southern and center-west of Brazil is projected to be 36% to 73% of the long-term average. This would be down about 11% from July of 2023. ONS is advising its members to be prudent in their water usage and be prepared to address potential water shortfalls before the onset of the next summer rainy season in October.