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October 10, 2012

Conab Estimates Much Larger Brazilian Soybean Crop in 2012/13

In their first monthly estimate of the 2012/13 growing season in Brazil, Conab estimated that Brazilian farmers will increase their soybean acreage by 6.6% to 9.1% to 26.4 to 27.3 million hectares. The biggest percentage increase will be in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Bahia where the soybean acreage could increase 7% to 14%. The increase in soybean acreage will come at the expense of cotton (down 20% to 27%), full-season corn (down 4% to 7%), dry beans (down 1.5% to 2.3%), rice (down 1.4% to 2.9%), and pastures.

The nationwide soybean yield is estimated at 3,030 kg/ha (43.9 bu/ac) compared to the 2,661 kg/ha (38.6 bu/ac) produced in 2011/12. The total Brazilian soybean crop is estimated at 80.0 to 82.8 million tons compared to the 66.4 million tons produced in 2011/12 (an increase of 20.6% to 24.8%).

The top three soybean producing states once again are Mato Grosso (23.1 to 24.2 million tons), Parana (14.7 to 15.3 million tons), and Rio Grande do Sul (11.7 to 12.1 million tons). The percentage of Brazil's total soybean production grown in the states of Mato Grosso, Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul is 29%, 18.5%, and 14.6% respectively.

The total Brazilian corn crop is estimated at 71.8 to 73.2 million tons, which is nearly unchanged from 2011/12. The full-season corn acreage is estimated at 7.0 to 7.2 million hectares or down 4.0% to 6.8% compared to 2011/12. Full-season corn yields are estimated at 4,923 kg/ha (75.8 bu/ac) compared to a yield of 4,480 kg/ha (69 bu/ac) achieved last year. Corn yields are expected to rebound after the severe drought that impacted the 2011/12 full-season corn crop in southern Brazil.

One of the mega trends in recent corn production in Brazil has been the huge increase in safrinha corn production, which is planted after the first crop of soybeans is harvested. The trend will continue in 2012/13 and Conab is estimating that once again the safrinha corn crop will be slightly larger than the full-season crop in Brazil.

The 2012/13 acreage of the safrinha corn crop was left unchanged since the crop will not be planted until early in 2013. The final safrinha corn acreage will be determined by several factors including: international corn prices, when the soybeans are planted, and if there are any weather delays in harvesting the soybeans.