Brazil's soybean output lowered
Brazilian crop agency Conab said Wednesday it cut its estimate for the 2013-2014 soy harvest because of a drought in some growing areas.
Brazilian farmers will grow 85.4 million tons of soy in the current season, according to Conab, which in its February report had forecast a crop of 90 million tons. The 2012-2013 harvest was 81.5 million tons.
Conab also cut its forecast for the two 2013-2014 corn harvests compared with the February report, to a total of 75.2 million tons from 75.5 million tons. That compares with a harvest of 81.5 million tons in the 2012-2013 season.
The worst drought in about 40 years in the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais is harming Brazil's soy, coffee, sugar and orange crops.
Brazil is the world's biggest producer of sugar, coffee and oranges, and the second-biggest producer of soy, after the U.S.
Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states together are Brazil's biggest producers of oranges, sugar cane and coffee, while Mato Grosso state is the biggest producer of soy.
Conab cut its estimate for Sao Paulo's soy crop to 1.9 million tons from 2.1 million tons in its February crop report, and reduced the estimate for Minas Gerais' crop to 3.3 million tons from 3.8 million tons in February.
Conab raised its estimate for Mato Grosso's production to 26.4 million tons from 26.2 million tons in the February report. For another big soy-producing state, Goias, Conab cut the forecast to 8.6 million tons from 9.5 million tons.
Conab publishes the reports monthly, and it's possible the agency will cut its soy estimate even more. The survey for the March report was carried out from Feb. 16 through Feb. 22.
The soy harvest is near its peak in March, and heavy rains in Mato Grosso since the end of the most recent survey have made it difficult for equipment to enter the fields. Some of the soy could already be starting to rot on the ground, and that situation could grow worse if the rains in Mato Grosso don't let up, agronomists say.
Write to Jeffrey T. Lewis at email@example.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 12, 2014 08:42 ET (12:42 GMT)