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November 9, 2018

Conab's Nov. Crop Estimates for Brazil little changed from October

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

In their November Crop Report, Conab estimated the 2018/19 Brazilian soybean crop in a range of 116.7 to 119.2 million tons with a mid-range of 117.9 million tons. The estimate is slightly lower than their October estimate and it is unchanged to -2% lower than last year's production of 119.2 million tons.

The soybean acreage is estimated in a range of 35.35 to 36.15 million hectares with a mid-range of 35.7 million hectares (88.1 million acres). This would represent an increase of 0.6% to 2.8% compared to last year. The soybean yield is estimated at 3.302 kg/ha (48.8 bu/ac), which is down 2.7% compared to last year's yield of 3,394 kg/ha (50.2 bu/ac).

The 2018/19 Brazilian corn production is now estimated in a range of 90.0 to 90.9 million tons with a mid-range of 90.4 million tons, which is unchanged from their October Report. This would represent an increase of 11.4% to 12.6% compared to last year's production of 80.7 million tons.

The full-season corn production is estimated at 26.7 million tons (mid-range) which is slightly less than last year's production of 26.8 million tons. The full-season corn acreage is expected to be up 0.5% to 3.5% compared to last year. The full-season corn yield is estimated at 5,160 kg/ha (79.4 bu/ac), which is down -2.2% compared to last year.

Safrinha corn production is estimated at 63.7 million tons which is up +18% compared to last year's production of 53.9 million tons. Conab carried forward last year's acreage of 11.5 million hectares (28.4 million acres), but they did increase the estimated yield +16.9% to 5,766 kg/ha (88.8 bu/ac). Their first safrinha corn acreage estimate for the 2018/19 crop will be issued in their February Crop Report.

It is entirely possible that the safrinha corn acreage in 2018/19 will surpass last year's acreage due to the early planting of the 2018/19 Brazilian soybean crop. Brazilian farmers have planted their 2018/19 soybeans at a record fast pace. The early soybean harvest is expected to start during the second half of December, which should allow ample time for Brazilian farmers to plant their safrinha corn during the ideal planting window.

Mato Grosso is the largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and the ideal planting window closes about February 20th. Parana is the second largest safrinha corn producing state and the ideal planting window in the state closes about March 10th. During the 2017/18 growing season, as much as 30-35% of the safrinha corn in Brazil was planted after the ideal planting window had closed. If everything goes as scheduled, virtually all of the 2018/19 safrinha corn should be planted before the ideal window closes.