BRASILIA, BRAZIL — Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter of soybeans, is forecast to see year-on-year reductions in both categories due to problematic weather conditions, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Primarily due to a drought in the country’s southern region, the USDA lowered its soybean production forecast for the 2021-22 marketing year by 1.5 million tonnes, to 134.5 million.

“The yield forecast of 3.379 tonnes per hectare for this season’s crop is lower than the previous year due to yield declines across most of Brazil’s major soybean growing regions,” the USDA said. “If the troublesome weather conditions brought about by the La Niña phenomenon continue to worsen, it is possible that there could be more damage to crops, and soybean production could be lower than the current projection.”

Exports have been strong as Brazil continues to ship last year’s bumper crop, but that is expected to change before the end of the marketing year ends next December. The USDA said it anticipates that the decline in soybean production may negatively affect the forecast for export prospects later in the year.

Thus, it has decreased its projection for 2021-22 exports from 91.1 million tonnes, which would be a record, to 86.8 million tonnes.

“With high prices motivating exports, Brazilian soy stocks will hover at less than 5% of the domestic supply,” the report said.