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Heavy Rains Disrupt Brazil Soybean and Corn Harvest, Reuters Reports

Torrential rainfall in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state is causing significant disruptions to the final stages of the soybean and corn harvest, as reported by Reuters. The state, which is Brazil's second-largest soybean producer and sixth-largest corn producer, has experienced heavy downpours leading to flooding and infrastructure damage.

"Torrential rains in Rio Grande do Sul have already caused numerous disruptions and losses," said Marco dos Santos, a meteorologist at Rural Clima, to Reuters. The excessive rainfall has hindered harvest progress, with only 76% of the soybean crop harvested as of Thursday, compared to the historical average of 83% for this time of year.

The flooding in southern Brazil has impacted global soybean prices, causing a surge to their highest point in over three weeks on the Chicago Board of Trade, Reuters reported.

While the soybean harvest is nearing completion in the northern part of Rio Grande do Sul, an estimated 40% of the crop remains to be harvested in the southern region. The state was expected to produce a record soybean crop this season, with projections indicating a 68% increase compared to last year. However, the recent heavy rains and flooding raise concerns about potential yield and quality losses.

The impact extends beyond soybeans, as the corn harvest has also been affected. As of Thursday, 83% of the corn area had been harvested, slightly behind schedule, according to Reuters.

The situation remains critical, with local authorities reporting casualties and missing persons due to the flooding. The state government has warned of the potential for further deterioration as additional rainfall is expected in the coming days.