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Paraguay and Uruguay headed for record-large soybean crops

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Paraguay and Uruguay, South America's third and fourth largest exporters, are headed for record soybean crops.

"In addition to the large soybean production in Brazil and Argentina, the two countries wedged between these two giants, Paraguay and Uruguay, also produce soybeans as well," said analyst Dr Michael Cordonnier.

"The weather during the growing season in both countries has generally been good and both countries could produce record large soybeans crops in 2016-17."

Heavy Uruguayan sowings

In Uruguay the director of statistics for the Ministry of Agriculture pegs soybean prospects at 1.1m hectares of soybeans in 2016-17.

"Private estimates in Uruguay have the acreage higher at 1.2 to 1.3m hectares," Dr Cordonnier said.

Given these sowings, Dr Cordonnier said the harvest could reach a record 3.5m tonnes.

"The weather in Uruguay during the growing season has generally been favorable, but it has turned wetter in recent weeks," Dr Cordonnier said.

Beneficial weather

"With the start of the New Year, soybean producers in Paraguay are confident that the country will produced a record large soybean crop," said Dr Cordonnier.

"Farmers in Paraguay planted 3.32 million hectares of soybeans and the weather thus far has been generally beneficial for the crop."

Capeco, the Paraguayan grain and oilseed exporters association, sees the 2016-17 crop at 9.3m tonnes, up from a previous record of 8.2m tonnes set back in 2012-13.

The USDA currently pegs Paraguayan prospects at 9.17m tonnes.

"Where the growing conditions have been very good, farmers are expecting their soybean yields to be in the range of 47 to 50 sacks per hectare," Dr Cordonnier said.

"Where the weather was not so favorable, farmers are expecting 33 to 42 sacks per hectare."

By William Clarke

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