By Roberto Samora

Oct 5 (Reuters)A scarcity of rainfall expected in the coming days should further delay Brazil’s soybean planting, impacting supply of the country’s most prized agricultural export commodity in January, consulting firm AgRural said on Monday.

Through Oct. 1, producers in Brazil planted only 1.6% of the estimated soybean area, below a five-year average of 4.5% for the country at this time of the season, according to AgRural data.

Mato Grosso and Paraná states are leading the way after sowing respectively 3.5% and 4.2% of their estimated areas in the 2020/2021 season, AgRural data shows.

At the end of January 2020, Brazil’s biggest farm state Mato Grosso had already harvested 9 million tonnes of the oilseeds, or 25% of the state’s total crop, which is not going to occur in 2021.

“It is hard to imagine that even one third of that will be harvested in January given the current scenario,” said Fernando Muraro, AgRural analyst. “All of the action will take place in February,” he said.

The situation has caused port premiums relative to February 2021 shipping to shoot up by 25% during September, when the country’s largest supplier and exporter of soybeans usually starts the plantations.

February 2021 port premiums reached a peak of $1 per bushel using Chicago futures contract as a reference, Muraro noted.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum)

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