January 11, 2013

Brazil's 2012/13 Cotton Crop to Decline 23%

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

In their latest assessment of the Brazilian crops, Conab estimated that Brazil's cotton production would decline by 23% from 1.87 million tons in 2011/12 to 1.44 million tons in 2012/13. Many farmers in the two principal cotton producing states of Mato Grosso and Bahia opted to reduce their cotton acreage in favor of increased soybean production.

Brazil's total cotton acreage in 2012/13 is estimated at 985,000 hectares, which is a decrease of 29% compared to 1.39 million hectares grown in 2011/12. The cotton yields are expected to increase 8.6% to 3,815 kg/ha in 2012/13 compared to from 3,513 kg/ha in 2011/12. The higher yield expectation is being attributed to improved weather and greater use of high technology cotton varieties.

Mato Grosso will remain the number one cotton producing state in Brazil in spite of a 27% decline in cotton acreage in the state. The Mato Grosso cotton acreage is expected to decline from 725,000 hectares in 2011/12 to 530,000 hectares in 2012/13. Cotton yields in the state are expected to decline 1% in 2012/13. If these estimates hold up, the state of Mato Grosso would account for approximately 53% of Brazil's cotton production.

The state of Bahia continues to be the second largest cotton producer in Brazil with approximately 31% of Brazil'Lins cotton crop. Cotton acreage in the state is expected to decline 30% from 417,000 hectares in 2011/12 to 292,000 hectares in 2012/13.

With mediocre domestic cotton prices and high production costs, it was a relatively easy decision for many Brazilian farmers to switch some of their intended cotton acreage to additional soybean production.