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Weather focus turns south

11/01/2010 @ 8:05am

Wheat traders will remain keenly interested in U.S. weather here in November (except for the central and southern Delta, it looks quite dry across all of the Nation's midsection for the next ten days), but with the corn and soybean harvest in the U.S. largely wrapped up (look for the national corn harvest figure this afternoon to be right at 90 percent) traders in those markets will be looking now to South America for any weather-related fundamentals.

It was a wet weekend for much of the major corn and soybean growing areas of Brazil, as it was very easy to find weekend rainfall totals of an inch or more in large parts of Mato Grosso, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul (as well as neighboring Paraguay). Most of the rain through this coming Friday will be just in far northern parts of Brazil, so look for farmers there to take advantage of the weekend moisture to put a lot of corn and soybeans in the ground during this work-week. Rains should overspread all of Brazil again for the 6-10 and 11-15 day time frames.

Planting has been very slow so far in Mato Grosso due to a late arrival of their "wet season", but otherwise it has been a good planting season in Brazil and that looks to continue. The driest areas of Argentina coming into late last week were in their southern growing areas, and that is the area that was favored for rain from late last Thursday night through a part of Saturday with 1-2 inch rains common over La Pampa and southern parts of Buenos Aires to really help the wheat crop in that area. It is getting dry further north, as rains there over the weekend were disappointing and parts of Cordoba, northern Buenos Aires, and Santa Fe recorded under two-thirds of their normal rainfall in October. Parts of that area will have highs in the 90-95 degree range later this week, serving to increase soil moisture evaporation rates.

Much of that area does have a solid rainfall threat for about next Sunday/Monday, which will certainly be appreciated when it arrives. The corn and soybean markets are going to be "on edge" about South American weather this winter, as La Nina increases the odds of dry weather problems in Argentina. My research shows that a little more than six out of every ten La Nina events has produced below normal rainfall in Argentina during the January-March time frame (the key period for their corn and especially soybean crops).

Worries over La Nina producing weather problems in Brazil may very well be "over hyped", as there have been many times in which La Nina years have not only produced big Brazilian soybean crops, but have resulted in record yields.


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