Brazil’s Soybean Output, Exports to Decline on Stubborn Drought

  • Harvest seen falling for first time since ’12, Conab data show
  • Corn production, shipments to drop on adverse weather

Soybean production in 2016 will fall for the first time in four years because of a persistent drought, according to the crop-forecasting agency in Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter.

Output will be 95.6 million metric tons in the season ending June 30, Conab said Thursday in a report. That’s down 1.3 percent from the government estimate in May. The harvest is almost complete.

Last year, output rose to a record 96.2 million tons. In December, Conab forecast that production would rise to 102.5 million. The average yield probably will fall 3.9 percent this year to 2,882 kilograms per hectare (42.9 bushels an acre) from 2015 after dry weather and high temperatures in the northern states of Bahia, Piaui, Maranhao and Tocantins. In Mato Grosso, the top state grower, the crop estimate was cut by 1 million as productivity slumped to the lowest in a decade.

Conab cut its forecast for exports by 1.6 percent to 54.1 million tons. That’s down 0.4 percent from last season. In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected 59.5 million tons.

Corn Outlook

Conab estimated corn output at 76.2 million tons, down 4.7 percent from May, on the prospect for a smaller-than-expected winter crop following below-average rain in the main producing states including Mato Grosso. Last season, output was 84.7 million.

Corn exports will be 25.4 million tons, down from the May forecast of 28.4 million, Conab data showed.

Soybean planting started in September and ended in December, while most harvesting occurred from January to April. The soybean season officially started in July and lasts until June. Most corn is planted after the soybean harvest.

Through Thursday, most-active soybean futures in Chicago jumped 33 percent this year, while corn climbed 19 percent.

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