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August 10, 2018

Conab Lowers Brazil's Corn Production 0.7 mt to 82.1 Million Tons

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

In their latest monthly report released on August 9th, Conab lowered their estimate of the 2017/18 Brazilian corn production by 0.7 million tons compared to their July estimate to 82.1 million. The current Brazilian corn estimate is now down 16% from last year's production of 97.8 million tons or a reduction of 15.7 million tons.

The Brazilian corn production consists of two corn crops, the full-season corn planted in mainly September and October the safrinha corn planted in January and February after the first crop of soybeans are harvested. In the August report, the full-season corn estimate was lowered slightly to 26.8 million tons (down from 26.9 million tons in July). The full-season corn production was down 11.9% compared to last year, the corn acreage was down 7.5% compared to last year, and the corn yield was down 4.8% compared to last year.

The full-season corn currently represents 33% of Brazil's total corn production. The number one full-season corn producing state is Minas Gerais (19.7% of the total) followed by Rio Grande do Sul (17.9% of the total), Parana (10.4% of the total), and Santa Catarina (9.3% of the total).

In the August report, the safrinha corn estimate was lowered 0.6 million tons to 55.3 million tons. The safrinha corn acreage was lowered 50,000 hectares from the July estimate to 11.56 million hectares (28.5 million acres). The safrinha corn yield was lowerewd to 4,786 kg/ha (73.7 bu/ac), which was down 0.5 bu/ac from the July report. The current safrinha corn production is down 17.8% compared to last year, the acreage is down 4.5% compared to last year, and the corn yield is down 14% compared to last year when the yield was 85.6 bu/ac.

The safrinha corn production currently represents 67% of Brazil's total corn production. This is lower than previous estimates because the safrinha corn crop was impacted more than the full-season corn by adverse weather. The number one safrinha corn producing state is Mato Grosso (47.3% of the total) followed by Parana (16.0% of the total), Goias (12.1% of the total), and Mato Grosso do Sul (11.7% of the total).

Safrinha corn production in Brazil is always a risky proposition and the 2017/18 crop is the latest example of what can happen when the crop is planted late and the summer rainy season ends early. The corn crops in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul were especially hard hit by a 40-day dry period in April and early May. The corn in Parana is currently only about 50% harvested, so it is possible that Conab will continue to lower Brazil's corn production estimate in future reports.

The 2017/18 Brazilian soybean estimate was increased slightly in the August report to 118.9 million tons (up from 118.8 million tons in July). The current soybean production estimate is up 4.3% from last year or 4.9 million tons higher than last year's production.