Feb 28, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 40% Harvested vs. 36% Average

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

Rainfall in Brazil last week again favored the northern part of the country with less rain in far southern Brazil. The forecast is calling for more rain in northern Brazil with increased chances of rain in southern Brazil. The wet weather has slowed down the soybean harvest, but it has been good for safrinha corn establishment.

Soybean harvesting in Brazil slowed down last week due to wet weather. The soybeans were 40% harvested compared to 33% last year and 36% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 8% for the week which was the smallest weekly advance at this time of the year since 2009. The harvest is approaching completion in northern and western Mato Grosso and western Parana.

Since the 2023/24 Brazil soybean estimate was lowered two weeks in a row, I left it unchanged this week at 145.0 million tons with a neutral to lower bias going forward. Even though the harvest has moved into some of the later developing soybeans, the yields have not improved enough to completely compensate for the low yields from the earlier soybeans.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 76% harvested as of late last week compared to 76% last year and 72% average. This represents an advance of 11% for the week. The most advanced harvest pace is in the mid-north where 97% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest harvest is in northeastern Mato Grosso where 51% of the soybeans have been harvested. Yields in Mato Grosso continue to be variable with good fields aside of poor fields. Below is the soybean harvest progress in Mato Grosso (red line) from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics.


Parana - In the municipality of Itambe in northwestern Parana, hot and dry weather impacted the soybeans as the crop was filling pods. As a result, yields are disappointing in the range of 35 to 40 sacks per hectare (31 to 35 bu/ac) according to the director of Foraster Agro. This represents a reduction of 40% to 50% from initial expectations.

Rio Grande do Sul - Recently, rain has returned to Rio Grande do Sul which will help the later planted soybeans that are filling pods. The earlier planted soybeans will not be helped as much from the recent rains because the crop was too far along in its development. Yields of the earlier planted soybeans in the northwestern region of the state are expected to be down as much 12% from initial expectations.

Rainfall returned about ten days ago to the municipality of Ijui in northern Rio Grande do Sul after four weeks of dry weather. The dry weather hit when the early planted soybeans were filling pods and as a result, yields are expected to be down approximately 30%. The soybean harvest will start in about three weeks and yields are expected to be in the range of 50 sacks per hectare (44.7 bu/ac) compared to a more normal yield of about 70 sacks per hectare (62 bu/ac).

Mato Grosso do Sul - With 80% of the soybeans harvested in the municipality of Laguna Carapa in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazilian farmers are disappointed with their 2023/24 soybean yields. Local agronomists are estimating the yields in the region at 40 sacks per hectare (35 bu/ac) with some as low as 30 sacks per hectare (27 bu/ac). This is much lower than originally anticipated at the start of the growing season. The statewide soybean yield in Mato Grosso do Sul in 2022/23 was 62 sacks per hectare (55 bu/ac).

Hot and dry weather at the start of the growing season delayed the soybean planting and more hot and dry weather from mid-December into early January impacted the soybeans as the crop was filling pods.

Sao Paulo - Farmers in the state of Sao Paulo in southern Brazil have harvested approximately 20% of their 2023/24 soybeans. The director of the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Sao Palo (Aprosoja/SP) is estimating the yields thus far in the range of 30 to 40 sacks per hectare (27 to 36 bu/ac).

The soybeans that are currently being harvested were planted in October and suffered from hot and dry weather during October and November. The later planted soybeans are expected to have higher yields, but not high enough to completely compensate for the lower yields from the earlier planted soybeans.

The average soybean yield in Sao Paulo is generally in the range of 55 to 65 sacks per hectare (49 to 58 bu/ac) and the director of Aprosoja/SP feels the statewide yield in 2023/24 will be far short of average.

AgRural lowered their 2023/24 Brazilian soybean estimate this week by 2.4 million tons to 147.7 million. They cited yield losses in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul as the reason for the lower estimate.