Bloomberg News

South American Farmers Delay Soybean Planting Amid Dry Weather

October 01, 2013

Farmers in Argentina and Brazil are delaying soybean and corn planting as dry weather persists, while maturing wheat crops face damage before the harvest, Oil World said.

Central Brazilian growing areas including Mato Grosso, the top soybean state, need more rain in the next two to four weeks to facilitate planting, the Hamburg-based researcher said today in an e-mailed report. Recent rain in Argentina was too light to break a drought, with “severe moisture shortages” persisting in Cordoba, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Chaco and Santiago del Estero provinces. While time remains for moisture to improve before soybean planting, Argentine corn sowing was about 5 percent complete, behind last year’s 10 percent pace.

“The current severe dryness in several South American regions is making market observers cautious and limits the downward potential of soybean and meal prices,” Oil World said. “Recent dryness has considerably reduced soil moisture and prevented a timely start to summer crop sowings.”

Brazilian farmers planted about 25 percent of intended corn crops in Parana and 40 percent in Rio Grande do Sul, Oil World said. Rising cotton prices encouraged some farmers to sow the fiber instead of corn, with cotton planting in Mato Grosso expected to climb almost 30 percent from the previous year to 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres). Cotton sowing nationwide may rise as much as 25 percent, according to the report.

Argentina’s export supplies of wheat may be “very small” in the 2013-14 season as 900,000 hectares, or 22 percent of the crop area, is in poor condition after dry weather and frost, Oil World said. Wheat crops in southern Brazil have experienced too much rain, with flooding in some fields in Rio Grande do Sul, Parana and Santa Catarina.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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