Uruguay’s 2020/21 soybean area to grow 7% y-o-y: consultancy

16 Feb 2021 | Juan Pedro Tomas

Uruguay’s soybean planted area has increased by approximately 7% in the 2020/21 crop cycle compared with the previous crop, local consultancy firm Unicampo has told Agricensus.

The area planted with soybeans is expected to reach approximately 1.05-1.1 million hectares, Unicampo’s general director Esteban Hoffman told Agricensus, citing official numbers.

Hoffman also highlighted that private estimates on the 2020/21 soybean area have not yet been published, but said that the outlook for the 2020/21 crop cycle is much better now compared to the scenario at the beginning of the sowing process.

“The most productive regions have received very good levels of rains and the soybean is currently undergoing its critical period with water. Other regions with lower level of productivity have even better levels of water,” Hoffman said.

“The next 20-30 days and the potential rains in this period will be key to see the future levels of soybean production,” he warned, but the outlook right now is “very positive”.

Uruguay exported a total of 2.15 million mt of soybeans in 2020, down from 2.96 million mt the previous year, according to data from the country’s export-promoting agency Uruguay XXI.

China continued to be Uruguay’s largest customer, with approximately 65% of total exports last year.

Exports to the Asian nation amounted to 1.40 million mt in 2020, down 40% compared with 2019, the agency said.

Uruguay’s 2019/20 soybean crop reached 2 million mt, well behind the initial estimate of 3 million mt, according to government data, with the lower production down to another severe drought that hit several growing regions in the south of the country.