sucking Brazil dry as quickly as possible. (Peak Pessimism)
I would think in the next 60-70 days, we should be reaching
Happy New Year
I am not sure where 2021 went? For us, it was all a blur, but everything ended up being ok.
I would like to thank all the new subscribers and VIP clients this past year. I would also like to thank all the old subscribers that continue to renew year after year. It is appreciated.
I find myself working through the holidays- just like last year at this time with Brazil drought concerns and a bull market in the making. I have outlined my price objectives for new crop soybeans and so far the soybean market is behaving as expected. I must say the May through October time frame was confusing and stressful.
Western Parana, Santa Cat, parts of RGDS, and Paraguay are suffering a historic drought. It seems like every year they have some sort of dry spell and each year it gets worse. Last year the soybean crop was planted later and or replanted, so when the rains came in December, the crop still had time to recover and still produce 20 MMT each for Parana and RGDS.
To keep things in perspective: Parana + RGDS = 1 Mato Grosso.
20 MMT + 20 MMT = "one" Mato Grosso or 40 MMT.
40 MMT = 1.45 billion bushels
1.45 billion bushels = all the soybeans in Iowa and Illinois combined.
Mato Grosso is in fantastic shape.
As of December 20th, Sinop, Mato Grosso had recorded 1000 mm(40 inches) of rain since the beginning of the crop year starting in September. Compared to recent years, this is above normal rainfall. However, compared to 20 year historic rainfall, this is about right. We should get another 1000 mm or 40 inches from late December through the end of February. Normally, these heavy rains come in late January and early February and are called the "Amazon rains".
With the soybean crop ready to be harvested in early January, we must hope these rains diminish in intensity so as to allow harvest and get the 2nd crop planted timely and in decent soil conditions.
The yields out of Mato Grosso should be "awesome" this year.
By contrast dryer regions, such as Tocantins and Bahia, are getting well above normal rainfall for their region. The forecast is for 16-20 inches in the next 2 weeks. THIS IS A WOWZER.
Meanwhile, Parana, RGDS and Santa Cat cannot catch a rain.
Many fields in western Parana are now past the point of no return. The crop was planted in late Sept and early Oct which means the soybeans are now in the last phases of pod fill. For many fields, it will be too late if rains come in early January.
For RGDS, the situation is more of a jump ball. Early planted soybeans are hurting. However, soybeans being planted into wheat stubble today can still turn out quite well if rains would return in January.
For Paraguay, I am hearing of 30% losses and previsions for 50% crop loss without rains in next 2 weeks.
Paraguay was on deck to produce 11 MMT. Current estimates are for 8.5 MMT and dropping to 6-7 MMT is quite likely given current weather pattern.
Brazil 1st crop corn will not be 29 MMT as previously forecast by Conab. We are now looking at something less than 25 MMT -maybe even 23 MMT.
Brazil's corn ethanol production continues to surge and is helping compensate for last year's sugarcane crop loss due to drought.
After last season's 2nd crop failure with late planting and drought, this is not what the domestic corn market needed. More corn imports from Argentina are needed to balance the supply demand equation over the next six months until Brazil 2nd crop can come online.
The BRL is trading at 5.70:1. Inflation, 2022 elections, and questionable economic policy regarding future interest rates and recession are all conflicting data points that the central bank is trying to deal with.
Strange new political alliances are occurring to try and maintain power and or defeat the current administration. If old PT leaders rise again, the markets will be in turmoil for most of 2022.
AC/DC will sum up 2022- I fear- You shook me all night long ;>)
By the end of 2022, the new theme song will likely be "Shake it off"
I am not sure what will happen in Brazil as per politics, economy, and crop production in the year ahead. What I do know is that Brazil will be the best show in town for most of the year. There will be no shortage of intrigue, drama, emotion, and passion.
70% of the Brazil crop is in great condition albeit a bit wet. 30% is suffering a serious drought.
I have outlined potential crop loss parameters in recent newsletters.
I send out audio reports from time to time. I include videos when possible.
Drop me a not if you have any questions.
I have increased the price of the newsletter and VIP light service for 2022.
or visit my website at www.brazilintl.com
Happy New Year
Kory and Brazilintl team
Keywords: Brazil soy production, Brazil weather, Brazil crop size potentials, BRL, politics 2022
Nov 17th, 2021
Rains have been steady and beneficial.
I am not too worried about 2nd crop corn and cotton inputs.
2023 crop inputs are a dilemma.
The Brazil soybean crop will be quite large.
Lots of talk about a Brazil CRP payment for Amazon. I am not sure if Brazil is ready for this.
"I am a producer from western South Dakota. I love your witty commentary. "
DB SD, USA
Much has happened since the last update:
My son has been accepted to Notre Dame University in the USA. He is a very happy young man today. He wants to pursue Biology and pre-med courses. I look forward to getting him set up in South Bend in the coming weeks. Classes start August 23rd.
Brazil is a circus. But, that is also the norm. Vaccination ages are down to the 38 year olds. The Delta variant is ripping through non vaccinated populations. The current admin is under investigation for its handling of the pandemic. Much chatter about impeachment. The current admin's approval rating is down to 24%.
The central bank has been increasing interest rates and also doing some currency swaps to keep the REAL under control. So far, they seem to be doing a good job. The equilibrium price for the REAL seems to be about 5:1. FX at 5.30:1 seems too cheap with many economists thinking the REAL should be 4.50:1. With political uncertainty for 2022, my guess is the REAL will remain weak as to factor in some political risk for the year ahead.
Expensive corn, crude oil, beef, chicken, and pork are all big headwinds for current admin to deal with in the year ahead. I made a comment a few months back in my newsletter stating that the current president's destiny is tied to Brazil domestic corn market. Some would say that energy prices will be the undoing of him. With the current dry season in play and water reservoirs at record lows, the ability to keep the lights and air conditioning on in the coming months might be a determining factor for the presidents' future.
Ag sector is 100% behind the current President. They want to see the projects that have been initiated during the current admin completed in the next 3 to 5 years. If we see a new admin at the beginning of 2023, many projects could stall. Brazil is well known for starting a project and never finishing on time. It seems like even a small project takes a decade.
Weather guys tell me to keep an eye on the cool water in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The weather could be a repeat of last season. A dry, late start to planting followed by heavy rains at harvest and then dry again for 2nd crop. I doubt the year will be as screwed up as last season. If a repeat of last year, many will lose their minds.
Brazil looks like it will add another 1.5 million hectares of soybeans again for 2022. The fertilizer imports and sales are verifying this datapoint. Much chatter about lack of glyphosate for 2022. Farmer organizations have sent out press releases saying not to worry. The prices are higher, but there will be enough product.
We will see a limited amount of X-tend soybean seeds out in the market this year. Farmer test plots and the like. 5-10-15 hectare plots I think.
Replacement parts and getting delivery of new machines are also running behind. Basically, if you need a new tractor or combine, do not expect delivery until well into 2022.
Two major lessons to take away from the 2021 Brazil crop.
1. Do not kill the soybean crop before Christmas.
2. Do not plant 2nd crop corn after March 10th.
Brazil needs to get its 1st/2nd crop corn ratio back in balance. I think we will see a bit more 1st crop corn in 2022, but the increase will be nominal. It will be up to RGDS and Santa Cat farmers to step up to the plate and get more 1st corn planted. This can happen as early as August.
Things to keep an eye on in coming months:
1. Political impeachment proceedings
2. Late start to soybean planting i.e. not starting on Sept 15th
3. Lack of water and electricity in metro areas
4. Corn imports from ARG and USA later in the year
5. A lifting of travel restrictions by USA for Brazilians to travel abroad
6. Who will be the lead presidential candidates to counter the current admin?
7. Selic interest rates to 7% by year end to curb inflation
8. A breakout of the BRL below 4.80:1 or above 5.30:1
Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Good luck with harvest
How many hectares of soybeans were planted in 2020?
In the March Conab report, they increased planted area by 200,000 ha from 38.2 M ha to 38.4 M ha. There are some BR consultants using a 38.9 M ha planted area. This extra 500,000 ha would yield an extra 1.5 to 1.7 million tons. This explains part of the difference of opinion of those who think the crop is from 133 to 135 MMT.
In the January newsletter, I looked at fertilizer delivered to producers and calculated that it is possible the starting point for this year's soybean crop started at 136.5 MMT.
When I think back to the weather patterns back in Oct, Nov, and Dec, I am amazed that we are looking at a crop that is 133 MMT or larger. What does it take to kill the BR crop? The December 15th rains were a godsend because without them, millions of tons were on the cusp of evaporating.
Mato Grosso yields were 5-7% less than last year's record productivity. Para state and Tocantins also took a hit from too much rain in February. The city of Sinop in Mato Grosso has received 2000 mm of rain from Oct to March. Most of the rain came in the months of December and February. We had a drought and a flood in the same crop season.
Early Parana yields were terrible. However, later planted soy turned out ok. The yields were 60 sacs per hectare. This is good but not like the 70 and 80 sac yields from the previous season.
Bahia was probably the garden of eden in 2021. We are hearing reports of 80 sac soybeans. For Bahia, this is beyond fantastic. Bahia will likely produce 6.5 MMT this year.
RGDS is also in good shape. There is much talk of a 20 MMT crop. RGDS is the only state that can plant soybeans behind corn due to Asian rust. There are some very young soybeans in RGDS that are benefitting from late season rains.
We still have a wide range of opinions for the Brazil soybean crop. From 128 MMT to 136 MMT. I find this 8 MMT spread really really interesting. I think back to 10 years ago, it seemed like we would debate the size of the BR soybean crop and everyone was in a 2 or 3 MMT bandwidth. The bigger the BR soybean crop becomes, the wider the ranges have become.
Subscribers know where I stand.
For 2022, it looks like a 140 MMT soybean crop is the baseline. It would take some really weird weather to come in less than 140 MMT in 2022 at this rate.
Cost of production is an issue for the year ahead. KCL has risen from R$ 1600 per ton to R$ 2200 per ton for the next season. Urea has risen from R$ 1650 per ton to R$ 2300 per ton. MAP from R$ 1900 per ton to R$ 3500 per ton. Will this curb expansion? Not likely so long as corn and soybeans remain at record high prices- the animal spirits will run free.
Land prices and land rents are on the rise. Many are negotiating new rental rates at higher levels up to 2 years in advance of contract expiration. I know of land rents in Mato Grosso that were at 13 to 15 sacs of soybeans per hectare rising to 18 sacs per hectare in the future. This is a wow for MT.
This brings us to 2nd crop corn. Will we kill this crop in the next 30 days or will Brazil pull a 2nd rabbit out of her hat for 2021?
Corn prices on the B3 are trading at R$ 95 per sac for May. With a weak FX/BRL, this will likely trade at R$ 100 per sac of corn in April. Who wudda thunk?
I remember when corn traded at R$ 5 per sac in Mato Grosso back in 2005 time frame.
Last year's 2nd crop corn was 75 MMT. We planted a record area of 2nd crop corn this season. I know of corn that is still being planted in Goias and MGDS as I type this. On the surface, one would have to assume these producers are insane to keep planting corn. It would be like planting corn in Iowa in July.
Why are they doing this?
It depends on the area. What is your land cost? If you have paid for land, one can plant a low cost corn crop and breakeven at about 30 to 40 bushel per acre. In the states, we would call the crop insurance agent to send out the adjuster. In Brazil, in 2021, if you can harvest something better than 40 bu per acre on cheap land, you are likely to be in the black. This is because of the high price of corn. Keep in mind they are reducing populations and will likely only spray the corn twice. Once with glyphosate and one more time for bugs. Take what you get.
We have already seen reductions in the 2nd crop corn from 83 MMT to 77 MMT. This will likely continue. We will not get an accurate count of BR corn crop until August. We will likely be hearing production ranges from 70 MMT to 80 MMT+ for a long time yet.
I ask myself: What if BR 2nd crop corn comes in at 70 MMT at the same time USA is hot and dry in July? That might garner the markets attention?
We have a market situation in Brazil that is completely out of balance. We are seeing spot corn reaching R$ 100 per sac and soybeans are at R$ 150-R$ 160 per sac. A ratio of 1.5:1.
Can you imagine if Chicago was trading US$ 15 dollar soybeans and corn was trading US$ 10.00 per bushel at the same time? That is what it is like in Brazil at the moment.
Area of 1st crop corn has been decreasing and shifting to soybeans for over 10 years now. I will assume that in Parana, Santa Cat. and RGDS we will see a reversal of this trend for 2022. We should start to see more 1st crop corn being planted by August this year. Brazil has put too much dependence on the 2nd crop.
Inflation is running hot in Brazil. Gasoline and Diesel are on the rise. Beef, soy, and corn are all at record high prices. The BRL seems to like the 5.70:1 area. The pandemic has gutted political, economic, and social stability. If the BRL could drop back to the 4.50:1 area, many problems would correct themselves. If we pop above 6:1 in the future, Brazil will be in chaos. 2022 is an election year.
If one lives inside the BR Ag bubble, things are exciting in Brazil. If one lives outside the bubble, the future is quite scary in Brazil. Vaccinations are picking up pace now, but it is starting to act like much of 2021 will disappear before any sense of normalcy will return to Brazil on a macro level. If the natives get restless, things could deteriorate from here. The publics patience is wearing thin.
Happy Easter to all,
For more info drop me a note at email@example.com
keywords: soybeans, corn, crop size, record prices, planted area, inflation
The slow harvest continues........
Steady as we go here. My son, David, graduated from BR high school while lying on the couch. He has applied to 10 different USA universities and we are in a wait and see mode. To date, he has received one approval from a college in St. Paul, MN. This was not his first choice but more of a backup college.
I am not sure where the last 17 years have gone. It was just yesterday when it was common for me and him to go to Goiania shopping, watch a movie, grab some fries and Mcnuggets and call it day. He is now ready for the next step in his educational career. He is fluent in Portuguese and English.
I am reminded of a closing scene in a TV program called "Everwood". I remember watching it and the TV show "House" with David on the weekends ten or more years ago.
The letter the mother wrote to her graduating son was very good I thought. I told myself, that this is what I would write to David when the time was right.
"My dearest Ephram...I've been sitting in our kitchen for the last half hour simply imagining you... wondering what you must be thinking right now... what you must be feeling.