South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Tuesday 11/27/12

Delays in Summer Soybean Planting to Affect Corn Acres

SAO PAULO, Brazil (DTN) -- Brazil's Mato Grosso will plant less corn as a second crop than previously anticipated in 2012-13 due to delays in the planting of the summer soybean crop, IMEA, the state's agricultural economy institute, said Tuesday.

Irregular rainfall in October across parts of Mato Grosso put soybean planting back by a couple of weeks and, in isolated cases, forced farmers to replant. (DTN file photo)

The institute lowered its 2012-13 second-crop corn-planted area forecast to 6.7 million acres from 7.2 million acres after irregular rainfall in October across parts of Brazil's principle farm state put soybean planting back by a couple of weeks and, in isolated cases, forced farmers to replant.

Delays in the soybean cycle directly affect the corn, which is planted immediately after the oilseed's harvest in January and February. The later that corn is planted in February, the greater the risk to the crop during the dry Mato Grosso winter.

"The farmer had to reduce second-crop corn-planted area in order to take advantage of the ideal planting window," explained Cleber Noronha, an IMEA grains analyst.

Nonetheless, the 2012-13 planted area remains higher than the 6.2 million acres planted last year.

IMEA reduced its second-crop corn output forecast to 13.3 million metric tons (mmt) from 13.8 mmt, and output is expected to fall from the 15.5 mmt harvested in 2011-12 amid near-perfect conditions.

"Last year's harvest surprised us and it is unlikely that we will repeat the same harvest," said Carlos Favaro, president of the Mato Grosso Soybean and Corn Farmers Association (APROSOJA).

But with U.S. output falling this year, Favaro said he expected Mato Grosso to again export a lot of corn in 2013.

Brazil is expected to ship between 18 mmt and 20 mmt of corn in 2012, almost doubling its previous record performance and elevating it to No. 2 in the world corn export rankings.

Mato Grosso's corn output doubled in 2011-12, causing major logistical problems in the post-harvest period.

However, exports have gone better than expected over the last three months and, as a result, Favaro forecast the state will have limited corn carryover stocks, of approximately 1.5 mmt, come the end of January.

According to IMEA, farmers have sold 5.8% of their 2012-13 second-crop corn, although this figure is expected to rise quickly in the next couple of months.

Alastair Stewart can be reached at alastair.stewart@telventdtn.com

(AG/SK)

Posted at 11:35AM CST 11/27/12 by Alastair Stewart
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