The hydric deficit and above-average temperatures in southern Brazil and southern Mato Grosso do Sul, prevailing since November have significantly damaged the 2021/22 soybean crop. Brazil’s estimated harvest has been lowered by 11.3 million tons to 133.4 million tons, according to a new survey released this week by AgRural.
The figure is lower than the previous harvest record of 137.3 million tons, and represents a reduction of 12 million tons compared to the 145.4 million tons estimated in early November. The 133.4 million tons production are based on a 40.6 million hectare area (unchanged from December) and an average yield of 54.8 bags per hectare, which is the lowest since the 2015/16 harvest.
Paraná is the state that has been hit the hardest so far. After losses began in the west of the state (which is currently the hardest hit), the crop’s potential was reduced in other parts of the state as the drought and heat worsened throughout December. The loss would be even greater if it weren’t for the more consistent rainfall in the eastern half of the state.
AgRural also reconsidered the expected yield for the other two southern states. In Santa Catarina, rains have been a little more regular and the harvest is not as bad as in Paraná, but the estimated average yield is already lower than last year’s.
The predicted yield for Rio Grande do Sul, has also been significantly reduced. Although the crop is defined at the beginning of the year, the extremely hot and dry weather in December caused the cycle to be shortened in certain regions, where plants are very young, already flowering, and beginning to form pods. Rain and milder temperatures are needed immediately to avoid further losses in the state.
Mato Grosso do Sul also went through a cut in its productivity estimate, although less severe than in the southern states of Brazil. In the rest of the country, the harvest is developing well and expectations are for high yields in Mato Grosso, where the first crop areas have started to be harvested.
With a lower overall production, the big question is the export estimate of the 2021/22 soybean crop, compared to previous seasons. The National Association of Cereal Exporters (Anec), reported Brazil exported 86.628 million tons of soybeans in 2021, a 5.2% increase over the previous year’s 82.298 million tons.
In December, the volume exported reached 2.524 million tons, compared to just 161,000 tons in the last month of 2020.
In terms of soy bran, Brazilian exports totaled 16.817 million tons in the year, 0.37% above the previous year, when shipments overseas equaled 16.817 million tons, according to Anec.
Corn exports, on the other hand, were lower both in the year and in December. In the 12 months of 2021, they add up to 20.547 million tons, 38.5% below the 33.396 million tons exported in 2020.
In December, 3.320 million tons of maize were shipped abroad, 13% less than the 3.823 million tons computed in December 2020.