Brazil To Plant Record Soybean Area For 2011

In their first estimate of Brazilian soybean plantings for 2011, Ag Rural are predicting a record area will be given over to the oilseed. They are calling for 24 million hectares to be planted to soybeans, half a million up on last year, or an increase on just over 2%.

Some of those extra acres will come from corn, encouraged by significantly higher returns from soybeans as CBOT hovers around USD10/bushel.

They haven't put a figure on production yet, although there is some trade talk of a crop in excess of 70 MMT if everything comes together and they are able to replicate the bumper yields of 2010.

At this early stage that's a big ask, especially with La Nina forming in the Pacific Basin. This is a big concern this year, La Nina's last appearance in 2007/08 didn't cause much disruption, but crucially that episode only developed late in the growing season. This La Nina is developing now, before soybean planting has even begun.

La Nina tends to delay the arrival of rains in Central and Southern Brazil, that could hold back plantings, potentially cutting yields.