Conditions Slowly Improving in Brazil, But Crop Ratings Still Sliding in Argentina

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2021 - 06:54

South American Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier maintained his Brazilian soybean crop estimate of 128 MMT and his bias is neutral to lower going forward. He says weather has continued to slowly improve, stabilizing the bean crop. “The two main areas of Brazil that need additional rainfall are Rio Grande do Sul in far southern Brazil and the states in northeastern Brazil,” he reports, adding that both areas are in line for some scattered showers this week.

Cordonnier also stuck with his 102 MMT corn crop projection for Brazil, and again, his bias is neutral to lower going forward. He comments that early planted full-season corn was “severely impacted” by dry weather, especially in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. “The later planted full-season will fare better, but not enough to make up the losses,” Cordonnier adds.

Soybean harvest in Brazil’s top producing state of Mato Grosso will likely occur 15 to 20 days later than normal, comments Cordonnier. Dry weather slowed planting, germination and early development of the crop. That signals the main bean harvest in the state should occur from mid-February to early March. Last year, 25% of the state’s soybeans had been harvested by late January. This year, less than 10% of the crop will likely be harvested at that point.

Ultimately, the impact is that Mato Grosso’s soybean exports may not get underway until late February vs. the usual early February timeframe.

The situation will also delay safrinha corn planting, with Cordonnier noting a “significant portion” of the second corn crop will likely be planted after the ideal planting window closes around the third week of February, upping the odds the crop will run low on moisture. Mato Grosso’s rainy season usually ends in early May.

Cordonnier maintained his Argentine soybean crop estimate of 46 MMT, and his bias is neutral to lower going forward. He comments that rainfall over the past week provided modest relief, with rains generally concentrated over southern areas. Cordonnier notes that just 27% of the bean crop is rated good to excellent, a 15-point dive from the week prior.

Adverse conditions have kept beans smaller than normal and canopies still haven’t closed. Cordonnier says pod fill will begin in 10 to 20 days, at which point yield losses will be locked in if rains don’t improve. There have also been reports some double-crop beans are losing plants.

Cordonnier lowered his Argentine corn crop estimate 500,000 MT to 44.5 MMT, and his bias is neutral to lower going forward. He comments that as of late last week, there were still around 1 million hectares of corn left to plant with around two weeks remaining before the planting window closes. Just 15% of the crop is rated good to excellent, a two-point slide from last week.