South American maize and soya bean crops could come under pressure from dry weather, according to the latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) market report.

Soils are already dry as planting begins in Brazil due to the 2020/21 La Niña weather event, which caused drier-than-average conditions in South America.

However, US-based weather forecaster National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) currently puts the likelihood of another La Niña developing and lasting through November 2021 to January 2022 at 70%.

Rainfall cut

Argentinian crops could also be affected, the ADHB states.

The Rosario Grain Exchange has warned that a La Niña could cut rainfall by 20% to 30% during the 2021-22 season.

Whether a La Niña develops or not, the outlook shows drier than normal weather in parts of Brazil.

If weather patterns develop in a similar way to last year, the dry weather arguably poses a greater risk to maize than soya bean crops.

Safrinha maize

Dry weather last autumn delayed the planting of the 2020-21 Brazilian soya bean crop.

Safrinha maize crops are planted after soya beans are harvested, so the 2021-22 Safrinha maize crop also went in late.

The crop then faced drier-than-usual conditions during its reproductive phase, which cut yields.

Global grain stocks are already forecast to be paper-thin by the end of the season.

So, any threat to the South American crops is likely to spark more volatility in the market.