Brazil Seen Planting More Soybean Acres but Weather Challenges Loom

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Brazil has exported record amounts of soybeans so far in 2020, helped by strong Chinese demand and the real’s weakness against the US dollar. That’s likely to prompt a further increase in soybean planted area in the upcoming season, as farmers take advantage of favorable profit margins for the oilseed. But planting could get off to a rocky start as a La Niña climate cycle is on the horizon and is known to create drier weather during South America’s growing season.

Since the start of the 2020 marketing year in February, Brazil has exported 73.7 million tonnes of soybeans, compared with 53.8 million tonnes in the same period last year, and a 5-year average of 53.2 million tonnes. 72% of the exports went to China. 

Click on the image below to view Brazil's Soybean Exports.

With such strong export demand, Brazilian farmers are expected to increase their acreage allocations for soybeans. Soybean acreage in Brazil has risen steadily since the 1970s.  

Early soybean planting begins in September in central Brazil and Mato Grosso state, which grows 30% of the country’s crop. Rainfall totals in September, which are currently well below the 10-year average, will be closely watched. Gro offers a Brazil soybean yield forecast model once the season gets underway. As with all of Gro’s yield forecast models, our Brazil soybean yield model updates daily at the district level. 

As Brazil is now the No. 1 spot as soybean producer in the world (having stripped the US of its title in 2018), China relies heavily on it to fill its import needs. Any production declines out of Brazil will alter US soybean planting decisions for 2021.  

This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.

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