Weather woes continued for Brazil in November, slowing planting of soybeans. In the Central-West region, including the important soybean-growing state of Mato Grosso, hot and dry conditions on the whole kept soil moisture too dry for planting. According to data from WeatherTrends360, November 2023 was the hottest and driest November in 30-plus years. Meanwhile, too much rain slowed planting progress in southern Brazil, and this was the 2nd-wettest November in 30-plus years for Rio Grande do Sul. The excessive rain caused flooding in parts of southern Brazil during the month.
As the calendar flips to December, this general weather theme is expected to continue: Wetter in the South and drier in the North. For the first full week of December 2023, week-ending Dec. 9th, this will be the 2nd-wettest first full week of December in 30-plus years for Rio Grande do Sul and the 6th-driest in 30-plus years for Mato Grosso, according to forecasts from WeatherTrends360. Temperature trends will also vary widely across Brazil with Rio Grande do Sul trending the 6th-coldest in decades while Mato Grosso is the 2nd-hottest in 30-plus years.
With conditions either too wet or too dry in the soybean-growing regions of Brazil, planting has been slowed. The delay in planting could lead to further problems down the road as the planting for the important export safrinha crop may also be delayed. This crop must be planted within a certain window of time to avoid the crop maturing in the dry season for Brazil; delays increase the risk of planting occurring outside of the ideal planting window.
Hot and dry conditions have also extended up into Central America including the Panama Canal where drought is causing restrictions on transport through the region. This important thoroughfare for grain transport from the United States Gulf of Mexico to Asia has been forced to throttle traffic due to lower water volume in the face of an ongoing drought.