Back
May 11, 2016

Conab Lowers Brazil's 2015/16 Soybean and Corn Crops

In their latest monthly report released yesterday, Conab lowered the 2015/16 soybean and corn production estimates for Brazil. For the 2015/16 Brazilian soybean crop, they are now estimating the crop at 96.9 million tons, which is 2 million tons less than last month's estimate of 98.9 million tons. At the current level, the 2015/16 soybean crop is now only slightly larger than the 96.2 million tons produced in 2014/15.

The soybean acreage in Brazil is estimated at 33.0 million hectares or up 3.1% compared to last year. The nationwide soybean yield is estimated at 2,929 kg/ha (42.4 bu/ac), which is down 2.3% from last year's yield of 2,998 kg/ha (43.4 bu/ac). The largest yield declines were registered in northeastern Brazil where hot and dry weather reduced the soybean yields by 20% to 30%.

The biggest problem for the soybean crop was adverse weather earlier in the growing season in central Brazil, especially the states of Mato Grosso and Goias and hot and dry conditions in northeastern Brazil. Soybean planting in northeastern Brazil was delayed for 1-2 months due to dry conditions. The summer rains finally arrived in January, but the rainfall quickly diminished in February and it stayed dry through March and April. There were also some late season problems with the soybean crop in far southern Rio Grande do Sul. The heavy rains that resulted in flooding in Argentina during the month of April also impacted the late maturing soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul.

Conab's biggest change this month was for the Brazilian corn crop. They reduced the total 2015/16 Brazilian corn crop by 4.6 million tons to 79.9 million tons. Most of the reduction (4.2 million tons) came from the safrinha corn crop. Conab is now estimating the safrinha corn crop at 52.9 million tons compared to 57.1 million tons a month ago. The safrinha corn acreage is estimated at 10.16 million hectares or up 6.4% compared to last year. The safrinha corn yield is estimated at 5,204 kg/ha (80.4 bu/ac), which is down 9% compared to last year. The safrinha corn crop accounts for 66% of Brazil's total corn crop.

They also reduced the full-season corn crop by 0.46 million tons to 27.0 million. The full season corn acreage is estimated at 5.4 million hectares which is down 10.6% compared to last year. The full-season corn yield is estimated at 4,928 kg/ha (75.9 bu/ac), which is up 0.6% compared to last year. The full-season corn crop accounts for 34% of Brazil's total corn crop.

It continues to be a disappointing end to the growing season for both the soybean and corn crops in Brazil. It is expected that Conab will reduced their estimate for the Brazilian corn crop again in next month's report. The survey for this report was conducted more than two weeks ago and the safrinha corn crop has suffered additional losses since the survey for the May report was conducted.