Soya bean farmers expect smaller harvest

The latest commodities outlook released by Agbiz indicated that South Africa’s soya bean harvest will be lower this season.

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Agbiz economist, Wandile Sihlobo, said the country’s soya bean harvest was currently underway and yields were reportedly below average. According to Sihlobo, the widespread drought was the main cause of the decline in production.

As a result, South Africa will be importing about 300 000t of soya beans from Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay to supplement domestic supplies, which is well above the previous season’s imports of 125 000t.

He said Argentina and Brazil’s soya bean production had been negatively affected by unfavourable weather conditions, but this would have a limited impact on South Africa.

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The International Grains Council forecasted that in the 2015/2016 season, soya bean production in Brazil could reach 103 million tons. Argentina’s 2015/2016 harvest was estimated at 55,5 million tons. “Given the expected volumes, these countries will be in a position to export to South Africa,” he said.

Adverse weather conditions early in the growing season caused havoc in South America’s soya bean industry. According to Soybean and Corn Advisor, soya bean plantings were delayed for one to two months due to dry conditions in north-eastern Brazil.

Heavy rain led to flooding in Argentina during April, causing the crop to mature later in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil.

A Buenos Aires Grain Exchange report stated that 7,5% of total soya bean hectarage in Argentina had been damaged by flooding.