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May 28, 2019

Safrinha Corn Harvest begins in Brazil, big Yields Expected

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

It is a little too early to say for sure what the safrinha corn yields in Brazil will be, but everything points to a superior crop. The crop was planted early, the weather during the growing season was good, and the summer rains lasted longer than normal, which really benefited the corn.

The early safrinha corn harvest is just getting underway with only a few percent of the crop harvested. Many farmers are anticipating corn yields higher than in 2016/17, which was the last time Brazil had a record high corn crop. Reuters recently surveyed 11 analysts in Brazil and the average estimate of the 2018/19 Brazilian corn production was 97.5 million tons.

According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the safrinha corn harvest in Mato Grosso has started earlier than last year and the 5-year average. The safrinha corn is 1.2% harvested compared to 0.2% last year. Farmers remain very confident about their safrinha corn yields. The average corn price in the state is R$ 22.58 per sack (approximately $2.60 per bushel).

With a potential record corn crop in Mato Grosso, there will be a lot of corn stored outside due to a chronic lack of storage space in the state. According to Conab, there are 2,192 storage units in Mato Grosso with a capacity of 37.4 million tons. A lot of those storage units still contain soybeans, so some of the corn will have to be stored outside temporarily.

In the state of Parana, the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported that 3% of the safrinha corn had been harvested last week and that 28% was maturing, 60% filling grain, and 11% pollinating. The crop is rated 3% poor, 13% average, and 84% good. The corn production in Parana is expected to represent approximately 17% of Brazil's total corn production. Light frosts occurred over the weekend in southern Parana, but any damage to the safrinha corn is expected to be limited.

The average price of corn in Parana is in the range of R$ 25 per sack (approximately $2.91 per bushel). Last year at this time the price was R$ 32 per sack (approximately $3.82 per bushel). The lower prices are in anticipation of a big safrinha corn production.