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Brazil to harvest record soybean crop despite La Niña risks, poll shows

SAO PAULO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The arrival of rains in September allowed for a promising start to Brazil's 2022/2023 soybean season, with farmers poised to reap a record of 150.62 million tonnes despite the drought risks associated with the La Niña weather phenomenon in southern Brazil.

According to the average of 12 analysts polled by Reuters, expectations of a bumper crop are being driven by a record large planted area of 42.83 million hectares (105.8 million acres), which farmers are planting now. If the average of forecasts is confirmed, Brazilian soybean production will exceed last season's by 25 million tonnes, when a drought in the southern farms of the country spoiled part of the crop.

"The beginning of planting is very good, it is moving fast, there is no lack of moisture, the rains are coming to the Midwest and Southeast," said Luiz Roque, analyst at consulting firm Safras & Mercado. In some parts of southern Brazil, rains brought in excess moisture, but according to Roque, "it is better to have more than not enough."

While farmers are off to a promising start to the season, the current cycle is the third in a row under some effect of the La Niña phenomenon, analysts said. This, they said, may compromise the crop at a later stage.

Source Output (mln tns) Area (mln ha) AgResource 151.24 42.61 AgRural 149.1 42.8 Céleres 154 42.9 Conab 150.36 42.4 Datagro 151.8 43 HedgePoint 147.09 42.8 Rabobank 148 43.2 Refinitiv 150.5 42.9 Safras & Mercado 151.49 42.88 S&P Global 151 42.7 StoneX 153.82 42.9 USDA 149 Average 150.62 42.83 Highest estimate 154 43.2 Lowest estimate 147.09 42.4 2021/2022 (Conab) 125.55 41.45 Average vs 2021/22 19.9% 3.33% Compiled by Reuters (Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Chris Reese)

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