Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Ag Attache Updates Brazil Soy Forecast

Brazil’s soybean crop will fall 2.5 million metric tons short of USDA’s official forecast, according to the latest estimate from the U.S. agricultural attaché in that country.

In a report dated Jan. 28, but released on Monday, the attaché pegged Brazil’s crop at 93.0 million metric tons, up 1 million tons from his last forecast issued in November, but still below the official estimate of 95.5 million metric tons from USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.

The attaché raised his forecast for Brazilian soybean plantings by 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres) to 31.6 million hectares, which represents an increase of 4.7% over the 2014 plantings, and raised his yield forecast slightly to 2.94 metric tons per hectare, 2% above last year’s level.

The attaché noted that Brazil’s 2014-15 soybean season has gone through “several ups and downs in terms of adverse climate conditions. Lower-than-expected rainfall last fall created planting delays and forced some replanting. In the last week of December and the first two weeks of January below-normal precipitation in the Center-west and Northeast regions raised yield concerns.

“For instance, the state of Goiás, which accounts for 10% of this year’s planted area, has been impacted by the dry weather and extreme heat through most of January,” the attaché said.

However, even if Brazil’s production fall a bit short of USDA’s current official estimate, world soybean stocks at the end of 2014-15 would still likely be record large by a fairly wide margin.