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Hot, dry weather slashes Brazil soybean production, exports forecasts: INTL FCStone

Sao Paulo — The Brazil soybean harvest will fall to 112.2 million mt in the current 2018-19 season as a result of unfavorable weather, INTL FCStone said Friday in its latest crop report.

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In a previous estimate, INTL FCStone said the harvest would total 116.3 million mt.

In 2017-18, Brazil harvested a record 119.3 million mt of soybeans.

"The first weeks of December were really dry, which led to some previous cuts in crop estimates, but the weather in January remained dry and hot in most of Brazil," INTL FCStone said in the forecast.

The Brazilian soybean harvest started in January and will kick on in February.

Analysts at the financial services company also said the forecast for Brazil's soybeans exports was slipping.

Shipments of the current crop will reach 68 million mt, down from 72 million in the company's previous estimate and from a record 83.87 million mt in the 2017-18 crop.

The US Department of Agriculture, in its latest report, dated December 11, still projects Brazil's current crop exports will total 81 million mt.

CORN YIELD TO IMPROVE

INTL FCStone said the winter corn crop, planted immediately after soybeans are harvested, should recover from the yield decrease of a year earlier.

Yields will recover and echo the trend of previous years, excluding 2017-8, and there will be larger area planted compared with the 2018 second corn crop too, it said.

Brazil's total corn crop in 2018-19, including the summer harvest, is projected by INTL FCStone to reach 92.4 million mt, compared with 80.79 million mt in 2017-18.

An increase in "corn production, in combination with higher domestic stocks, gives room for higher internal consumption and exports that could climb again to more than 30 million mt," said the analysts.

-- Gustavo Bonato, gustavo.bonato@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com