May 23, 2013

Weather in Southern Brazil Beneficial for Small Grain Production

The cool and dry weather that has negatively impacted the safrinha corn crop in the state of Parana in southern Brazil has been beneficial for the small grain crops in the state. Parana is the second leading wheat producing state in Brazil after Rio Grande do Sul. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is estimating that the wheat acreage in Parana will be 845,000 hectares or 9% higher than in 2012. If the weather continues to cooperate, the wheat production in the state is expected to be 500,000 tons greater than the 2 million tons that was produced in 2012.

Farmers in the state are planting more wheat in response to strong domestic wheat prices. The average price of wheat in the state is approximately R$ 39 per sack of 60 kilograms (approximately USD 8.85 per bushel), which is 50% higher than the average price over the last four years. In the state of Parana, winter wheat generally competes for the same acres as safrinha corn. Wheat in southern Brazil is generally planted in April-May-June and harvested in September-October-November.

The wheat acreage in the state of Rio Grande do Sul is estimated at 1.01 million hectares or 3.5% greater than last growing season. The total production in the state is expected to be approximately 2.4 million tons.

Wheat is the only major crop for which Brazil is not self-sufficient. Generally, Brazilian farmers are only capable of producing about half of the wheat needed to meet domestic consumption with the other half imported from neighboring Argentina.

The other small grains produced in southern Brazil are barley (102,000 hectares in 2013), oats (168,700 hectares in 2013) and triticale (48,000 hectares in 2013).