USDA has estimated Brazil's soybean crop at a record 51 million tons, up 17.5 million from last year's harvest. The rainfall pattern from November to January has been almost ideal.

As Brazil enters its main harvest period — from mid-February to April — the soybean crop has the potential to achieve record yields in many states. USDA currently forecasts 2002-2003 soybean yields at a record 2.83 tons/hectare, up roughly 6.5% from last year's drought-affected yield.