South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Tuesday 12/10/13

Brazil Gov't Forecasts Record Soy Crop

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry Tuesday predicted the 2013-14 soybean crop would reach a record 90.0 million metric tons.

It raised its forecast from a range of 87.9 mmt to 90.2 mmt last month as the crop continues to develop well across Brazil's grain belt.

There appears to be a growing consensus that the crop will be around 90 mmt. Last week, Agroconsult, a Brazil-based analytics firm, raised its number to 90.1 mmt, while a week before AgRural, a local consultancy, upped its number to 89.4 mmt.

If the government figure is confirmed, production will be 8.5 mmt higher than the 81.5 mmt produced last season.

Farmers across Brazil are in a high state of alert over attacks by the corn earworm, Helicoverpa amigera, said the ministry's report. The threat of the pest has prompted much greater investment in chemicals this year, it added.

Corn production was pegged at 78.8 mmt, in line with the 78.5 mmt to 79.8 mmt forecast last month and 2.7% down on the year before.

Summer crop output is pegged 6.4% lower at 32.6 mmt.

Planted starting in August, the crop is developing well in Parana, Santa Catarina, Minas Gerais and Goias, the main producing areas. Production will only be lower because of a 5.9% fall in planted area, caused by tight corn margins..

The overall corn number may end up lower than the ministry is predicting, however, as they are using last year's figures to estimate second crop corn production when most expect second-crop area to decline.

The government raised the wheat forecast from 4.8 mmt to 5.4 mmt due to higher-than-expected yields in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state. A series of frosts significantly reduced production this year in Parana, traditionally Brazil's No. 1 wheat state.


Posted at 8:14AM CST 12/10/13 by Alastair Stewart
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