The soybean crop now reaches 30.4% of the area of 37 million hectares, according to a survey conducted by the consultant Safras & Mercado. Only Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul have not yet begun, says the survey. The most advanced state is still Mato Grosso (74%). If compared with the average rate of 28% of the period, the current national crop is advanced, but behind 40% in the same period last year. The progress in relation to the week ending February 14 was medium, when it was 22%.
Amaggi, the Brazilian soybean group owned by entrepreneur-turned-politician Blairo Maggi, is in advanced talks to buy the local unit of Argentina’s El Tejar (O Telhar) to capitalise on increasing crop demand from China. The proposed acquisition, yet to be confirmed by both companies, would encompass all assets in Brazil, including about 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) of farming land, cotton mills, warehouses and machinery. Founded in Argentina, El Tejar is controlled by U.S. fund Capital International and U.K.-based Altima Partners. In 2013, the group opted to focus operations in Brazil.