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  • Unconventional Ag

Brazil Raises Estimates of Corn and Soybean Harvests, Helped by Late Rainfall

Thanks to rains arriving in time to give ‘surprisingly positive’ benefits to later-planted crops, Brazil has increased its forecasts for both its soybean and corn harvests.

Conab, Brazil’s official crop bureau, raised its estimate for the country’s soybean production by 1 million tons to 94.3 million tons for 2014/15, bringing its estimate in line with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) estimate of 93.5 million tons.

In contrast, Conab raised its estimate for Brazil’s corn crop by 780,000 tons to 79 million tons – far above the USDA’s estimate of 75 million tons. The bulk of Conab’s upward revision applies to the ‘main corn crop’, which it estimates will be 570,000 tons larger at 30.3 million tons, while the bureau raised its estimate for the country’s second, or ‘safrinha’ corn crop by 200,000 tons to 48.7 million tons, largely due to increased planting in the state of Mato Grosso.

Although abundant rain has been beneficial to the states of Mato Grosso, Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais, it has proven to be ‘excessive’ for the state of Parana, the country’s second biggest sarfrinha corn producing state, causing delays in planting. Despite these delays, the bureau remains firm on its estimate for a state-wide harvest of 10 million tons.

Conab’s latest estimate for Brazil’s grain and oilseed output for 2014/15 stands at a possible 200.7 million tons – 7.1 million tons above its previous estimate of 193.6 million tons.

The return of dry weather still has the potential to negatively affect production, especially for safrinha corn, which accounts for the bulk of the country’s output, causing Brazilian producers to closely monitor weather patterns throughout April and May.

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