South American Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier estimates the Brazilian soybean crop at 112 MMT, unchanged from his estimate last week. He has a neutral to slightly higher bias going forward.
He had been leaning toward an increase last week, but notes that lighter than expected rains in Rio Grande do Sul and excessive rains in Mato Grosso deterred him from doing so. Early harvest results have been variable in Mato Grosso, with farmers worried about the impact of wet weather, with some beans sitting in the rain for several weeks after they are ready for harvest.
“Some soybeans are being harvested with up to 40% moisture content, when the maximum for safe storage is 14%. There are moldy soybeans, some sprouting in the pods, and even some fields that will not even be harvested,” Cordonnier elaborates. While he acknowledges these are the exceptions and “of course you only hear about the problems,” but Cordonnier does say this illustrates some of the problems in the state.
AgRural last week reported that 10% of Brazil’s bean crop has been harvested, just slightly behind the five-year average pace of 12% finished at this point in the season. “The harvest pace is not uniform in Brazil with Mato Grosso pushing the pace ahead (at least for now) and Parana holding it back,” Cordonnier explains.
Cordonnier is much more concerned with Brazil’s corn crop. Therefore, he slashed his Brazilian corn crop estimate by 2 MMT to 86 MMT, and he has a steady to lower bias going forward. “The full-season corn production is way down and I think the safrinha production will be down as well,” he explains.
He thinks Conab’s forecast for just a 0.4 bu. per acre drop in yields versus year-ago is far too optimistic given the poor start to the growing season. “Last year was a very good year for the safrinha corn and this year is not getting off to a good start,” Cordonnier details. Conab is projecting an 88 MMT corn crop.
Harvest of Brazil’s full-season corn crop is 11% complete, according to AgRural. This compares to 12% both last year and for the five-year average. The consultancy estimates 15% of Brazil’s safrinha corn crop has been planted as of late last week, which is well behind 46.7% completion last year at this point and 25.4% for the five-year average.
Of note, Cordonnier says we won’t have a good handle on safrinha corn acreage for about another month, with the market likely to get a better idea of likely yields in late-May/early June.