A large portion of Argentina’s main soybean  growing belt saw better-than-expected rainfall over the weekend, at least temporarily easing concerns about that country’s production potential.
Meanwhile, Brazil remains on track for a bumper soybean crop with further beneficial rains falling across most growing areas.
Most of Argentina’s growing areas saw rainfall over the weekend as an estimated 85-90% of the country saw some coverage.
Rainfall totals in the heart of the Argentine soybean growing belt mostly ranged from ¾ in. to 1 ½ in. with some isolated heavier totals reported.
Some locations in the northern half of Buenos Aires province saw as much rainfall on Sunday as they had during the previous two and a half months. One location in central Buenos Aires reported nearly 7.5 in. of rainfall.
Further modest rainfall coverage of up to ¾ in. was also forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday across about three-quarters of Argentina’s growing belt.
Despite the rainfall, concerns about Argentine soybean production remain high. USDA  last Wednesday lowered its estimate of Argentina’s crop by 1.5 million metric tons (mmt) to 50.5 mmt, but most private estimates are lower.
In its first crop forecast of the growing season, the Buenos Aries Grain Exchange on Thursday pegged Argentine soybean production at 47 mmt. There are crop estimates from Argentina as low as 40 mmt, although most estimates are in the 45-50-mmt range.
The presence of the La Niña weather event in the tropical Pacific still favors dryer-than-normal conditions in Argentina through the remainder of January and February when the Argentina crop will be in its key growing stages.
Production prospects continue to look strong in Brazil despite the late start to planting in the top soy state of Mato Grosso due to dry weather last fall. Production estimates generally run from 67 mmt to more than 69 mmt, with USDA still putting the crop size at 67.5 mmt.
The private consultant AgRural on Monday pegged crop production at a record 69.65 mmt, up slightly from a December estimate of 69.43 mmt, while Brazil’s oilseed industry association ABIOVE left its crop estimate unchanged at 67.2 mmt.
Brazil’s northern growing areas may now be a bit too wet, while there are still some areas in southern Brazil that are too dry.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.