This article is taken from the January 2024 USDA World Agricultural Production Report

Argentina Soybeans

Argentina soybean production for marketing year 2023/24 is forecast at 50.0 million metric tons, up 4 percent from last month, and doubled from last year.

Soybean yield is forecast at 3.03 tons per hectare, up 4 percent from last month, and up 75 percent from last year’s yield.

Harvested area is forecast at 16.5 million hectares, up 1 percent from last month, and 15 percent from last year.

Soybeans are mainly grown in Buenos Aires (31 percent of production), Córdoba (28 percent) and Santa Fe (19 percent).

According to the Argentina Ministry of Agriculture (MinAg), planting for soybeans is 89 percent complete at the beginning of January.

The planted area forecast from MinAg was revised up month-to-month and abandonment is expected to be around 1 percent, similar to the abandonment levels in the three years preceding last year’s drought.

Yield for soybeans in Argentina is up month-to-month based on favorable rainfall during planting, emergence, and establishment which can be observed by the soil moisture status for the three main provinces.

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Brazil Soybeans

Production Lowered Due to Prolonged Drought Soybean production in Brazil for marketing year (MY) 2023/24 is estimated at 157.0 million metric tons (mmt), lower by 4.0 mmt (2 percent) from last month, and lower by 3.0 mmt (2 percent) from last season’s record crop.

Harvested area for MY 2023/24 is estimated at a record 45.6 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month, and up 1.3 mha (3 percent) from last year.

Yield is estimated below the 10-year trend at 3.44 tons per hectare (t/ha), down 2 percent from last month’s 3.53 t/ha yield, and down 5 percent from last year’s record yield.

Beginning in mid-December, a more seasonable pattern of showers developed over previously dry and hot soybean producing regions.

The rains were a welcome relief for the delayed and replanted crop.

However, the earlier planted crop was past recovery stages.

The effects of the variable rainfall differed by region.

For example, roughly 80 percent of soybeans were planted by the first week of November in Mato Grosso. Drier weather in southern Brazil accelerated planting in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and ample precipitation benefitted the later-planted crop in the center-west states.

The exception being northeastern Brazil which continues to experience irregular precipitation and ongoing planting delays.

One of the key northeastern states, Bahia (5 percent of production), received roughly 40 percent of the normal rainfall during this season.