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December 20, 2013

2013/14 Corn Production in Mato Grosso down 24% vs. 2012/13

The outlook for corn producers in the state of Mato Grosso improved a little last week with corn prices increasing 6% for the week. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economies (Imea), the average price paid for corn last week in the state was R$ 14.15 per sack of 60 kilograms or approximately US$ 2.80 per bushel. The prices now being paid are close to the minimum set by the Brazilian government which is about US$ 3.00 per bushel. Mato Grosso is the largest corn producing state in Brazil and Brazil is the third largest corn producer in the world after the U.S. and China.

The corn prices are improving due to record corn exports from the state and a dwindling volume of corn left in the state after the record production in 2012/13. During the month of November there were 2.59 million tons of corn shipped out of the state, which was 47% more than in November of last year and the state's corn exports represented 66% of all corn exports from Brazil during the month. November's corn export figures for Mato Grosso were the largest ever for a one month period.

Corn exports from the state started to pick up significantly in August with the harvest of the safrinha corn crop and the winding down of soybean exports from Brazilian ports. Corn prices in the state started to decline in July with the realization of a record large safrinha corn crop in the state and a record large U.S. corn crop as well.

For the 2013/14 growing season Imea is estimating that the safrinha corn acreage will decline to 3.25 million hectares (-12.3% compared to 2012/13) and that farmers will plant a second crop of corn on 39% of their soybean acreage compared to 46.8% during the 2012/13 growing season. Imea now estimates the total corn production in the state in 2013/14 at 17.08 million tons compared to 22.5 million tons in 2012/13 or a reduction of 24%. The average corn yield in the state in 2013/14 is estimated at 5,258 kg/ha (approximately 81 bu/ac) compared to last year's yield of 6,090 kg/ha (approximately 93.7 bu/ac).

The December estimate from Imea concerning the 2013/14 corn crop in the state is slightly higher than their November estimate. Conab has not yet released an estimate for the 2013/14 corn crop in the state.