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January 16, 2017

Soy Production in Paraguay and Uruguay could set Record Highs

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

In addition to the large soybean production in Brazil and Argentina, the two countries wedged between these two giants, Paraguay and Uruguay, also produce soybeans as well. The weather during the growing season in both countries has generally been good and both countries could produce record large soybeans crops in 2016/17.

Paraguay - With the start of the new year, soybean producers in Paraguay are confident that the country will produced a record large soybean crop. Farmers in Paraguay planted 3.32 million hectares of soybeans (8.2 million acres) and the weather thus far has been generally beneficial for the crop.

The Grain and Oil Exporters Association of Paraguay (Capeco) is estimating that the 2016/17 soybean production in Paraguay at 9.3 million tons, which if achieved, would set a new record large production. The prior record was 8.2 million tons produced in 2012/13. The USDA is currently estimating the Paraguay soybean production at 9.17 million tons.

Where the growing conditions have been very good, farmers are expecting their soybean yields to be in the range of 47 to 50 sacks per hectare (41.0 to 43.5 bu/ac). Where the weather was not so favorable, farmers are expecting 33 to 42 sacks per hectare (29 to 36 bu/ac). The early soybean harvest in Paraguay will start by mid-January with the peak of the harvest occurring during the second half of February.

Most of the soybeans in Paraguay are produced in the eastern regions of the country along the border with Brazil and Argentina. Many of the soybean producers in Paraguay are Brazilian that moved to Paraguay in the 1970's and 1980's in search of cheap land to expand their operations.

Uruguay - Farmers in Uruguay are also hoping for a record large soybean crop. According to the director of statistics for the Ministry of Agriculture in Uruguay, famers in the country will plant 1.1 million hectares of soybeans in 2016/17. This includes 831,000 hectares of full-season soybeans and 271,000 hectares of double crop soybeans. Private estimates in Uruguay have the acreage higher at 1.2 to 1.3 million hectares.

Soybean production in Uruguay could be as high as 3.5 million tons. If achieved, that too would set a new record. The weather in Uruguay during the growing season has generally been favorable, but it has turned wetter in recent weeks.