Brazilian soybean harvest continued to accelerate in the week ended April 10 on dry weather in most states and surpassed 5-year average pace, agricultural consultancy AgRural said April 12, putting pressure on US soybean export demand.

Soybean farmers had harvested 85% of the projected acreage as of April 8, compared with five-year average of 78%, AgRural said. Dryness remains widespread across the safrinha corn belt in Brazil, particularly in southeastern Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Parana, weather agency Maxar said April 8.

Steady harvest progress in Brazil is likely to pressure US soybean shipments in coming days as the South American nation’s soybean exports have picked up pace in March.

According to the foreign trade department’s report released April 5, Brazil exported 13.5 million mt of beans in March, compared with last year’s volume of 10.8 million mt for the same period.

There were concerns that incessant rains of January and February may lead to excessive moisture in the soybean crop, which may potentially damage the oilseed, particularly in Mato Grosso and Parana, AgRural said. However, with dry weather in the past few days, those concerns are not significant anymore, AgRural said.

Soybean harvesting is virtually done in the Midwest and Rondonia and was close to completion in Paraná, São Paulo and Minas Gerais, the consultancy said.

However, soybean harvesting pace in Rio Grande do Sul has remained below the national average amid rains. But there was forecast for dry weather in coming days which should accelerate the harvesting activities, AgRural said.

Rains since mid-December have largely benefited the soybeans crop in Brazil.

As a result, Brazil’s soybean production forecast for the 2020-21 marketing year (February 2021 to January 2022) was seen steady at the current estimate of 133 million mt, AgRural said.