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Brazil's 2019-20 soybean planting reaches 71%, up 13 points on week: ARC Mercosul

New Delhi — Brazilian soybean planting for the 2019-20 crop year (September-August) was 70.9% complete as of Friday, up 13 percentage points week on week, agricultural consultancy ARC Mercosul said Friday, as the primary soy producing states received sufficient rainfall in recent weeks.

However, the rate of soy planting is 12 percentage points lower on the year and 2 points below the five-year average, ARC said.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the soybean planted area in Brazil for 2019-20 is projected at 37 million hectares, up 2% year on year, while soybean production is forecast to be 123 million mt, up 5%, assuming normal weather.

Under normal weather conditions, when rainfall is at least moderate, soybean planting across Brazil starts in mid-September. The weather was dry in September, delaying planting by two weeks. The rainfall in the past few weeks across the primary bean-producing states, such as Mato Grosso, has speeded up the pace of planting.

Widespread showers across most of central Brazil and the northeastern interior provided much-needed moisture for the germination and establishment of soybeans, according to the USDA weather report released Wednesday.

As of last week, rainfall totaling 25-50 mm or more stretched from Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul eastward into Tocantins, with lighter rain (10-25 mm) falling at the northern and eastern edge of the soybean belt (Maranhao to western Minas Gerais), the USDA report said.

More than 10 mm of rainfall is considered to be moderate. Soybean planting requires sufficient rain to retain soil moisture for crop development.

According to the government of Mato Grosso, soybeans were 92% planted as of November 8, compared with 96% last year and the 83% for the five-year average.

Mato Grosso is Brazil's top soybean producer, accounting for over 30% of national production and exports so far in 2019, according to a recent report by the Secretariat of Foreign Trade.

Brazil, the world's largest soy exporter, is forecast to export 76 million mt of beans in the 2019-20 marketing year (October-September), up 1% year on year.

-- Asim Anand, aanand@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jonathan Dart, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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