Brazil soybean harvest pace still at 10-year low on rain: Agrural

22 Feb 2021 | Tim Worledge

Curitiba-based Brazilian agriculture consultancy Agrural has declared Brazil’s soybean harvest is still “the slowest in ten years” as progress inched up by six percentage points on the previous week to now stand at 15% complete, well behind the 31% attained at the same point in 2020.

In a weekly update, the agency noted that the pace has accelerated, but that rain remains the primary obstacle slowing progress making “the 15% harvested so far… the lowest index for mid-February in ten years, impacting logistics and exports.”

With weather outlooks still calling for more rain into the early days of March, farmers have been forced to pick up the harvest pace despite the conditions “even in areas where the grain is in excess of moisture, in an attempt to avoid losses of quality later on,” the report said.

Further south in states such as Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul, which typically only deliver one crop per season, Brazil’s bean harvest is yet to get into gear after delayed planting and dry conditions have slowed the development of the crop and lengthened the crop cycle.

For those states that support a second, safrinha crop, the delay to the soybean harvest is having a knock-on effect on corn planting, with the Centre South region of the country 24% sown with the grain as of February 18.

While that represents a significant 11-percentage point increase week-on-week, Agrural noted that progress is lagging well behind the 51% recorded at the same point of 2020.

The agency has forecast Brazilian bean production at 131.7 million mt but is expected to revise that estimate later this week.