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April 10, 2020

Conab Lowers Brazil Soybean Estimate, Increases Corn Estimate

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

In their latest monthly assessment of the 2019/20 Brazilian crops, Conab lowered their estimate of the 2019/20 Brazilian soybean crop by 2.2 million tons to 122.0 million while they increased their estimate of the Brazilian corn crop by 1.8 million tons to 101.8 million.

If Conab's soybean estimate of 122.0 million tons verifies, it would represent an increase of 7.0 million tons compared to last year's production of 115.0 million tons or 6.1%.

The 2019/20 Brazilian soybean acreage was left unchanged from last month at 36.8 million hectares (90.8 million acres). The soybean yield was lowered to 3,313 kg/ha (49.0 bu/ac) compared to the March estimate of 3,373 kg/ha (49.9 bu/ac). The lower soybean yields in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul was the main reason for the lower overall production.

The total 2019/20 Brazilian corn estimate was increased 1.8 million tons to 101.8 million. If that estimate verifies, it would represent an increase of 1.8 million tons compared to last year's production of 100.0 million tons or 1.8%.

All the increase in this month's corn estimate came from the safrinha corn crop. The safrinha corn production was increased 2.1 million tons compared to last month to 75.4 million. The safrinha corn acreage was increased 310,000 hectares from last month to 13.46 million hectares (33.2 million acres). The safrinha corn yield was increased slightly to 5,603 kg/ha (86.2 bu/ac). Brazilian farmers apparently planted more safrinha corn than anticipated due to record high domestic corn prices.

The full-season corn estimate was lowered 0.3 million tons to 25.3 million. The full-season corn acreage was left unchanged at 4.2 million hectares, but the full-season corn yield was lowered 49 kg/ha (0.75 bu/ac) compared to last month to 5,989 kg/ha (92.2 bu/ac). The lower full-season corn production was also the result of lower production out of Rio Grande do Sul.

If the current corn estimates verify, the safrinha corn crop would represent 74% of Brazil's total corn production and the full-season corn crop would represent 24.7% of the total.

In their long range forecast for April-May-June, meteorologists from the Brazilian National Weather Service are expecting below normal rainfall for most of southern Brazil and the center-west region. Temperatures during the three month period are expected to be above normal for the center-west region and below normal for parts of southern Brazil. The dryer than normal forecast for southern Brazil could be important for the safrinha corn crop that will need adequate soil moisture at least through June.