South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Tuesday 04/01/14

Brazil's Mato Grosso to See Corn Output Slide 32%

Mato Grosso, Brazil's No. 1 grain state, will see corn production decline 32% this season due to falling planted area and the intense rains that fell on the crop during planting, Mato Grosso's Agricultural Economy Institute (IMEA) said.

Planted after the soybean crop in January and February, the current crop will produce 15.2 million metric tons (mmt), representing an 11% reduction on its previous estimate.

Mato Grosso produces just under half of the Brazilian second corn crop.

Margins on second-crop corn were very poor last year, and poor prospective returns this season prompted farmers in Mato Grosso to reduce planted area.

Area was further reduced by wet weather in January and February, which delayed the soybean harvest and subsequently corn planting, said IMEA.

Faced with the option of sowing outside the planting window, and exposing the crop to significant drought risks in the parched center-west winter, many farmers opted not to plant part of their area.

Second-crop planted area is forecast to decline 19.7% to 7.3 million acres next season.

Late planting due to the rain will also reduce crop potential, prompting IMEA to lower its average yields forecasts.

The state will produce an average of 81.7 bushels per acre this season, down 15.8% on the year before.

According to Celeres, a local farm consultancy, Brazil will produce 44.8 mmt of second-crop corn, down 3.4%. However, that figure was based on an early February survey and will most likely be reduced to reflect the impact of the wet conditions Mato Grosso and dry early season conditions in the southern state of Parana, responsible for nearly a quarter of production.

Although much land has been switched to soy over the last five years, Brazil still produces a substantial summer crop. Celeres pegs this crop at 34.7 mmt, down 6.5% on the year, taking total 2013-14 output to 79.5 mmt, down 4.8%.

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

(AG)

Posted at 11:41AM CDT 04/01/14 by Alastair Stewart
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