October 29, 2008
Strong rains in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state could impact the wheat crop, said analysts Tuesday (October 28).
"It is too early to give a number, but people expect a fall in the size of the wheat crop or lower quality," said Elcio Bento, an analyst at Safras & Mercado.
The state's wheat crop estimate could now be revised downward, Bento said, without giving details.
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's No. 2 wheat-producing state, should produce more than 2 million tonnes of wheat in 2008-09, according to Brazil's National Commodities Supply Corp., or Conab.
In recent weeks Rio Grande do Sul has been lashed by heavy rain and hail followed by hot spells and then more rain.
Bento said that Rio Grande do Sul harvested only around 10 percent of its wheat in the first half of October compared to the norm of 15 percent or 20 percent for the time of year.
Marcilio Saiki at Brazil's largest agricultural cooperative, Coamo, said the quality of the wheat is likely to be lower quality in 2008-09 in Rio Grande do Sul, where the harvest has been impacted by the rain.
"More rain is expected, and this could further impact the state's wheat crop," Saiki said, without giving details.
Odilone Soares DaCosta, an agronomist with the state's rural assistance agency Emater, is more optimistic.
Rio Grande do Sul's wheat harvest should remain within the range of Conab, despite the recent rains, he said.
"We've seen problems in specific regions such as Sao Borja in the northwest, but this is isolated," he said. This region is one of the first to harvest and has been impacted by the rains that slowed the cutting process.
Still, in most areas it's still to early to determine the impact of the weather on the 2008-09 crop, he warned.
Parana, Brazil's No. 1 wheat-producing state, also experienced recent rain but is unlikely to see a reduction in production or quality, said Bento.
Parana should produce around 2.9 million tonnes in 2008-09, while Brazil's total wheat production is estimated at 5.8 million tonnes in 2008-09, said Conab.