December 23, 2008

Brazil soy farmers plant 97 percent of 2008-09 soy crop

Brazilian farmers have planted 97 percent of the new 2008-09 soy crop as of December 18, consulting firm AgRural said Friday (December 19).

AgRural said that this is slightly below 98 percent at the same time in 2007 but above 92 percent on December 11.

AgRural said Mato Grosso state, Brazil's No.1 soy producer, has planted 100 percent of its soy. A small number of farmers in Mato Grosso will start to harvest soon after the Christmas period.

AgRural said Mato Grosso's farmers should produce 17.4 million tonnes on 5.8 million hectares, despite concerns that the state's farmers face lower crop prices, large levels of debt, and high production costs due to fertilizer prices and long distances from the main grain ports.

Parana, the No.2 soy growing state, has planted 99 percent of its soy as of December 18, below 100 percent at the same time last year but above 97 percent on December 11, said AgRural.

Parana should produce 12.1 million tonnes of beans on 4 million hectares.

Rio Grande do Sul, the No.3 soy producing state, has planted 94 percent as of Dec. 18 versus 91 percent a year ago and 83 percent the week before.

Rio Grande do Sul is traditionally one of the last states to plant and should produce 9 million tonnes of soy on 3.9 million hectares, said AgRural.

The consultancy estimated that Brazilian farmers will produce 61.8 million tonnes of soy on 22 million hectares.

Brazil is the No. 2 soy producer behind the US.

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