July 8, 2011

Conab Estimates Brazilian Grain Production up 8.6% in 2010/11

The Brazilian government is expecting total grain production in Brazil to hit 162 million tons for the 2010/11 growing season, which would represent an increase of 8.6% compared to the 2009/10 growing season (149.2 million tons). In their July estimate, Conab estimated the grain planted acreage at 49.5 million hectares or 4.4% more than the 47.4 million planted in 2009/10. Included in the grain totals are the principal crops of soybeans, corn, cotton, dry beans, wheat, and rice.

The increases are being attributed to increases acreage and good weather during most of the growing season especially in southern Brazil. The main production state of Mato Grosso had less than ideal conditions especially during the initial phases of the soybean harvest, but improved conditions in other regions of the country, especially southern Brazil, more than compensated for the problems in Mato Grosso.

Brazilian farmers increased their cotton acreage more than any other crop. In 2010/11 they planted 1.39 million hectares of cotton or 66% more than in 2009/10. Total cotton production is expected to hit 2 million tons.

Soybeans of course, is the main grain produced in Brazil and total production for 2010/11 is expected to hit a new record of 75 million tons which is 9.2% more than last year. The soybean acreage increased 2.9% to 24.1 million hectares. The nationwide soybean yield is estimated at 3,097 kilograms per hectare or 44.9 bushels per acre.

The Brazilian corn acreage is estimated at 13.6 million hectares with a total production of 57.1 million tons. Conab's corn estimate is seen as being overly optimistic in light of the frost/freezes recorded in the states of Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo over the last week and a half. Parana is the second leading producing state of safrinha corn and losses in the state due to the cold weather are estimated as high as 35%. In their report, Conab stated that the damage from the cold temperatures could not be determined in time for the July report and that further evaluation of the safrinha corn crop would be included in the August report.

The production of dry beans and rice are also estimated to be higher than in 2009/10. Wheat is the only grain estimated to be lower than in 2009/10. Total wheat production in 2010/11 is estimated at 5.4 million tons or a decline of 7.3% compared to 2009/10.