Brazilian farmers have already started to harvest what's being projected as a record-breaking soy crop for Brazil. The municipality of Lucas do Rio Verde, one of Brazil's foremost hubs for soy production, located in the midwestern state of Mato Grosso, is now reaping the crop.
Producers in the area cultivate the early-maturing variety of soy, as well as the conventional one. Domestic production should reach 54.9 million tons this harvest, a record high for the country, according to data provided by the National Food Supply Company (Conab).
Despite a 7% reduction in planted area, production should increase 2.7% over the previous crop, which reached 53.4 million tons. And that, according to Conab president Jacinto Ferreira, is a conservative estimate, which means that production volume may be even larger.
According to the president of Conab, the decrease in cultivated area was prompted by the farmers' decision of planting only in the more productive areas. They were also discouraged by the commodity's low prices, which are currently recovering.
Brazil should export 24.9 million tons of its total soy production. The remaining 30 million tons should be consumed on the domestic market. National soy oil consumption is estimated in 3.2 million tons, and exports should be 2.2 million tons.
Also to be exported, according to estimates based on production, are 12.5 million tons of soy chaff. Another 9.1 million will be consumed on the Brazilian domestic market.
In recent years, the Lucas do Rio Verde region emerged as one of Brazil's largest soy producers. In the current crop, the municipality should harvest 600,000 tons of soy, 40% of the entire early-maturing soy crop.
Lucas do Rio Verde has a planted area of 200,000 hectares, and a production rate of 3,000 kilograms per hectare, which is 345 kilograms higher than the Brazilian average, projected at 2,645 kilograms per hectare.
Harvest of the early-maturing variety in the municipality should end this month. The conventional variety of soy will be harvested from February onwards.