Brazil soy harvest drags while moisture hits bean quality, AgRural says

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, March 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian farmers reaped less soybeans than expected from fields last week as rains continued to disrupt the work of the harvesters in the world’s largest producer of the oilseeds, agribusiness consultancy said AgRural on Monday.

Bean quality is also being affected by damp conditions, the consultancy said.

Brazilian farmers had harvested an estimated 35% of the planted soybean area through last Thursday, the slowest pace in a decade amid March rains. At the same time a year ago, 49% of the area had been reaped in Brazil.

“With high humidity for the past few weeks in regions of Mato Grosso (state) and in the north and northeast of the country, quality problems have been increasing,” AgRural said.

“In addition, the large amount of soy leaving fields with high humidity has caused lines of trucks at warehouses because the standardization of the batches has been consuming more time due to excess damp.”

Delays to reap soy have affected the pace of second-corn crop planting in Brazil, as farmers have sown only 54% of the estimated area for the cereal compared with 80% in 2020, AgRural said.

Second corn is planted in the same areas as soybeans and will represent around 80% of Brazil’s annual production this season.

Last month, AgRural raised its production forecast to 133 million tonnes for the current 2020/2021 season, from 131.7 million tonnes previously.

The projection already factors in lower average yields in most producing regions of Brazil, the consultancy said. However, if rains persist in March, it is possible yields will fall further in some states, in particular Mato Grosso.

AgRural said it will revise its soybean crop forecast later this month. (Reporting by Ana Mano. Editing by David Evans.)

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