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Brazil’s Farmers Enjoy Regular Soybean Planting Progress

Planting is behind last year but ahead of averages.

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- Brazil’s farmers are not having the luck they had last year regarding planting soybeans.

However, considering that last year’s planting pace set a record, this year’s progress is still favorable.

As of Monday, Brazil’s crop is 35% planted, up 14% from a week ago, according to Curitiba consultancy AgRural.

The progress is delayed compared with last year, the fastest in history, when 46% of the crop was planted, but it is ahead of the five-year average of 31%.

In the state of Mato Grosso, the soil moisture allowed farmers to speed up the works and advance planting from 47% to 72%. The surface planted in one week in the state was 5.9 million acres.

Endrigo Dalcin, a farmer from Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, expects to improve yield during this season and is satisfied with current prices. “I’m not worried because current prices will bring profitability,” says Dalcin.

In the state of Parana, the second-largest soybean producer, planting jumped 13% to 46% of surface. There is still a delay compared with the average of the previous five years, and it’s the smallest percentage since 2014. A week ago, it was the worst progress since 2011.

Rains improved land conditions and prevented the lack of moisture in the main producing regions.

Another state that faces delays is Mato Grosso do Sul, though there was a recent weather improvement. In Rio Grande do Sul, where planting just started, the worries are over excess of moisture. Farmers say they are cautious.

The state of Bahia and all the Northeastern region are roughly at 1% of planting. Michael Cordonnier, corn and soybean adviser, says there will be an excellent crop in Bahia.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reveals that soybean sales in the state reached 36.03% of the new crop and 96.8% of the 2018-19 season.

According to Safras & Mercado, a consultancy based in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, there were not significant deals last week because farmers have “prioritized planting the new crop and they wait for more favorable sales conditions,” though premiums for exports have improved.

Another major factor pointed out by the consultancy is that the U.S. dollar devalued 1.87% over the week.

Luiz Pacheco, owner of consultancy Trigo & Farinhas, from Curitiba, Paraná, reports that China purchased seven soybean cargoes from South America over last week – five from Brazil, two from Argentina.

“With lower value in Chicago, margins for crushing in China are reaching $30 for current crop and $50 for the old crop,” explains Pacheco.

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