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March 11, 2016

Conab Increases Brazil Soybean and Corn Production Slightly

Brazil Soybeans - In their sixth evaluation of the 2015/16 growing season in Brazil, Conab increased their estimate of the Brazilian soybean crop by 0.25 million tons to 101.2 million. The soybean acreage increased 3.6% this year to 33.2 million hectares (82.0 million acres) and the yields increased 1.5%. The nationwide soybean yield is now estimated at 3,043 kg/ha (44.1 bu/ac) compared to a yield of 2,998 kg/ha last year (43.4 bu/ac). Soybeans will represent 56% of the cultivated acreage in Brazil this growing season.

Brazil Corn - Conab estimated that the total 2015/16 corn crop in Brazil will be 83.5 million tons, which is up slightly from last month (+0.18 million tons), but down 1.4% from last year's 84.6 million ton production. The full-season corn acreage declined 6.4% (395,400 hectares) to 5.74 million hectares and the full-season corn production declined 6.1% to 28.23 million tons.

The 2015/16 safrinha corn acreage in Brazil is estimated at 9.71 million hectares or up only 1.8% compared to last year (+169,100 hectares). The safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso is up only 1.0% to 3.38 million hectares while the safrinha corn acreage in Parana up 7.8% to 2.06 million hectares. The state of Mato Grosso represents 35% of the total safrinha corn acreage and Parana represents 21% of the total. The safrinha corn production is estimated at 55.2 million tons or 1.3% more than last year.

The safrinha corn crop in Brazil will represent approximately 66% of Brazil's total corn crop in 2015/16.

Brazil Cotton - Conab is estimating that the 2015/16 cotton acreage in Brazil will decline 2.5% to 952,100 million hectares (-24,000 hectares). The cotton acreage in Mato Grosso, which is the largest cotton producing state, is expected to increase 2.7% (+15,200 hectares) to 577,900 million hectares. The cotton acreage in Bahia, which is the second largest producer, is expected to decline 10.6% (-29,800 hectares) to 251,300 hectares. Brazil's 2015/16 cotton crop is expected to decline 0.16 million tons to 3.743 million (-4.3%).

There is a disagreement between Conab and the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) concerning cotton production in the state of Mato Grosso. Imea is estimating that the 2015/16 cotton acreage in the state will increase 6.9% (+25,100 hectares) to 603,000 hectares and that the production in the state will be up 5%. Conab is estimating that the production will decline 0.9% in the state.

Imea recently stated that the increase in cotton acreage would have been even more had it not been for the delayed soybean planting, which in turn has delayed the soybean harvest and subsequently the planting of the safrinha cotton.