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Rains Help Brazil's Farmers Speed Ahead on Soybean Planting

Brazil’s farmers sell this year’s soybean crop at rapid pace.

PORTO ALLEGRE, Brazil -- Brazil’s soybean planting pace is well ahead of a year ago.

Farmers in the South American country have seeded 21% of their soybean crop, as of Monday, up 10% from a week ago.

The pace is considered normal, when compared to the last five years, ahead of last year’s pace of 35%.

The country’s National Supply Company (Conab) projects a soybean crop size of 120.4 million metric tons (441.0 million bushels).

Most of the planting progress during the previous week was due to the works in the state of Mato Grosso, where half of the soybean surface is planted. “There are still irregular rains in some points of the state, but the volumes improved in October, allowing producers to overcome the initial delay observed in September,” AgRural analysts stated in a press release Monday.

In Parana, the second-largest producing state, the pace is slower, and there is the lowest surface area planted since the 2011-2012 crop. In the western part of the state, some farmers will need to replant the oilseed due to the lack of rain. According to AgRural, if there is no improvement, there will be problems in planting safrinha corn in 2020. Replanting areas can also happen in Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul. On the other hand, meteorologists forecast rains during this week for Mato Grosso do Sul.

For André Figueiredo Dobashi, president of the Soybean Growers Association of Mato Grosso do Sul, the state would maintain an average yield of 49.3 bushels per acre in the season with the new rains.

The Brazilian soybean crop has been sold in a fast track. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the Mato Grosso 2018-19 crop reached 96.85% of the total crop, while the 2019-20 is 36.03% sold in the state. The average for the last fast five years, in this same period, is 29.39%.

A very optimistic market scenario is seen by Curitiba market analyst Luiz Pacheco at Trigo & Farinhas consultancy. His recommendation: “Plant all what you can of soybeans. All factors indicate that the prices are going to rise,” said Pacheco.

One of the reasons for Pacheco’s optimism is the fact that China continues to buy aggressively from Brazil even after the deal with the USA. “Last week, China purchased 16 cargoes from Brazil,” stated the analyst.

More Exports Leave Northern Brazil

Recently, Brazil has passed through significant infrastructure improvements. One of these improvements is the higher exports through northern ports of the country. The two major ports of the so-called Arc North exported 17.1 million metric tons of corn and soybeans in the first quarter of the year, which is 12.3% higher than last year.

The Arc North, which has most of the exports through Itaqui (state of Maranhao) and Santarem (Para) now exports 12.3% of the total grain exports from Brazil.

The other ports, led by Santos (Sao Paulo) and Paranagua (Parana), all at least 1,100 miles away from producing locations in Mato Grosso, exported 35.4 million metric tons in the period, which is a decrease of 7.4% compared with last year.

Paving the road BR-163, which connects Mato Grosso to Paranagua, Altamira, Miritituba, and Barcarena (all in the state of Para), has significantly helped to boost the use of the Arc North.

The Brazilian government has also announced a future plan to boost the use of waterways and marine transport in the country for the next 10 years.

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