Losses in soybeans should restrict expansions in the new MT harvest, assesses Imea


Reuters/Adriano Machado

Despite lower production in the major producer, soybean prices did not react as expected, considering the expectation of abundant harvests in Argentina, Rio Grande do Sul, among other factors, which clouds the scenario for the next season.

Producers in Mato Grosso experienced negative net operating revenue in the 2023/24 season, due to a sharp crop failure and low soybean prices that did not reflect the climate problem, and are expected to face difficulties that could prevent area expansions in the next season 2024/25, assessed the superintendent of the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) this Tuesday.

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Cleiton Gauer considered that the analysis institute linked to producers in the largest agricultural state in Brazil is carrying out surveys for the next harvest, which begins to be planted in September. But he said that for now his feeling is that expansions are left “aside”, something that happens in times of crisis.

In the 2023/24 season, with the soybean harvest ending in the State, the expansions had already lost strength, with the area planted with soybeans remaining almost stable at 12.13 million hectares, unlike the previous year (2022/23), when planting advanced by around 700 thousand hectares, or in 2021/22, when there was a jump of 1 million hectares.

“I believe that it is unlikely that producers will reposition the areas that they already cultivate, because it is the core of their production, it is what they know how to do, it is what they are capable of doing. But what we should see, in more fragile areas, areas where the producer has to make some investments… the producer tends to leave aside and not make these investments in these bad years”, he stated.

“As we see this happening historically, producers in the State rarely stop planting, but they stop making new investments to carry out new expansions”, commented Gauer.

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The comments were made in an internet presentation to analyze the 2023/24 numbers, a cycle in which Imea records a 15% harvest drop compared to the previous year’s record season, to 38.4 million tons.

With the crop failure, Mato Grosso should have a 25% share of Brazilian production in the current season, versus around 30% in the previous season, according to data from the state-owned Conab.

Despite lower production in the major producer, commodity prices did not react as expected, considering the expectation of abundant harvests in Argentina, Rio Grande do Sul, among other factors, which clouds the scenario for the next season.

For the executive director of the Brazilian Association of Corn Producers (Abramilho), Glauber Silveira, in recent years Mato Grosso has seen advances in planting in many sandy areas, generally less productive, which tend to be avoided in a crisis situation in the new season.

“I think there must be a retreat in the sandy areas,” he said, preferring not to estimate a total, remembering that in a similar situation in the past, many people changed their land from grain to eucalyptus.

Negative revenue

Researcher Mauro Osaki, from the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea), at Esalq/USP, presented figures at the event that indicate a 130% drop in net operating revenue (RLO) with soy in the municipality of Sorriso (MT) , the largest oilseed producer in Brazil.

He estimated the negative RLO at 370 reais per hectare in Sorriso, given the disappointing results with productivity in 2023/24. In the previous season, the same calculation indicated a revenue of 1,421 reais/hectare.

Osaki also cited a drop in the RLO of Rio Verde (GO) of 86% compared to last year and a decline of 89% in the indicator for Dourados (MS), in addition to a loss of 87% in Cascavel (PR).

For 2024/25, if the producer had a reasonable harvest, the result would be affected by the debts from 2023/24.

“It seems that things are not so much better looking at 24/25… I would need 55 bags (per hectare) to pay the operational cost, against an average productivity of 59 (expected based on past harvests). That’s not bad at all, it pays the operating cost, but you have to remember that you are carrying the debt that you didn’t pay this year, plus the cost of the investment”, he stated.

According to Osaki, the scenario is also similar for other regions, although Mato Grosso has seen a more significant drop in the current season. “If there wasn’t a negative harvest and investment to pay, I would be calm, but… there is no sign that the producer will be able to quickly resolve this negative effect of the 23/24 harvest”, he said, remembering that the farmer “will have to rethink the planning” and cut costs.

Osaki added that the drop in soybean productivity and prices “overcame” the effect of cheaper inputs, especially fertilizers and seeds. And he considered that his calculations are based on those who plant on their own land, indicating that in the case of tenants the situation is much worse.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Losses soybeans restrict expansions harvest assesses Imea



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