South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Tuesday 06/10/14

Brazil's Ag Ministry Raises Corn, Wheat View

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry Tuesday raised its second-crop corn forecast as farmers appear to have planted more acres than originally thought.

Second-crop output, planted after soybeans, will reach 45.7 million metric tons (mmt) in 2013-14, up from 43.7 mmt in May but still slightly lower than the 46.9 mmt produced last season, the ministry's crop supply company, or Conab, said.

The adjustment brings the government figure in line with local private estimates, which currently sit around the 45 mmt to 46 mmt mark.

As the crop enters the harvest phase, the second-crop corn looks generally good after ample rains in March and April. That despite the fact a large portion was planted after the recommended window.

Total Brazilian corn production will reach 77.9 mmt in 2013-14, not far behind the record 81.5 mmt harvested last year.

The government still forecasts exports will reach 21 mmt in 2014, much higher than private estimates of 17 mmt to 18 mmt.

Conab also raised its wheat forecast from 6.8 mmt to 7.4 mmt due to increased planting. Output is pegged to be considerably higher than the 5.5 mmt produced from the frost-affected 2013 crop.

"The increase in the (wheat) crop is linked to the market, which should see demand remain strong ... not least because of the disturbances in Ukraine," said Conab in a report.

Brazil is one of the world's principal wheat importers. In 2014, it will buy 5.5 mmt abroad, down from 6.7 mmt last year, according to Conab.

The ministry clipped its 2013-14 soybean crop forecast from 86.6 mmt to 86.1 mmt on lower-than-expected yields in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.

(AG)

Posted at 12:43PM CDT 06/10/14 by Alastair Stewart
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