Brazil reduced its forecast for harvests of both corn and soybeans this year, noting setbacks from too much rain in some areas, and too little in others.
The official Conab crop bureau trimmed by 190,000 tonnes to 78.21m tonnes its forecast for Brazilian corn production in 2014-15.
And it cut by 1.32m tonnes to 93.26m tonnes its estimate of the ongoing soybean harvest, citing reduced estimates for output in a range of central and southern areas.
The revision included a downgrade of more than 430,000 tonnes, to 8.46m tonnes, in the estimate for output in Goias, the fourth-ranked producing state, where rains last month were “not sufficient to mitigate the effects the long period of drought” preceding the precipitation.
Evidence from the first 20% of the harvest already shows some sign of damage to yields, now seen coming in at 2.65 tonnes per hectare in the state, down 8.7% year on year.
The forecast for production in Mato Grosso do Sul was cut by 385,000 tonnes to 3.45m tonnes, also reflecting damage to yield prospects from “rainfall irregularities”.
The state’s farmers were now expected to see a small decline in yield, to 2.62 tonnes per hectares, rather than the increase to 2.91 tonnes per hectare previously forecast.
And the estimate for Parana, the second biggest producing state, was trimmed too, after dryness earlier in the season.
However, Conab stuck with an estimate of a 14.2m-tonne crop in third-ranked Rio Grande do Sul, despite setbacks from “excess rainfall”, which has “compromised” crop condition through encouraging the spread of Asian rust, a fungal disease.
‘Absence of rains’
For corn, Conab nudged higher to 111,000 tonnes to 48.48m tonnes its forecast for production of the second, or “safrinha”, crop farmers have just planted, on land vacated by the soybean harvest.
Farmers in Mato Grosso, the top producing state, as well as in Goias were seen planting more safrinha corn than previously expected.
However, production of so-called main-crop corn was seen at 29.72m tonnes, a 400,000-tonne downgrade from last month’s estimate, thanks largely to a lower estimate for output in Minas Gerais.
The “absence of rains in January” in Minas Gerais – Brazil’s largest coffee growing state, as well as producer of first crop corn – prompted a “substantial reduction” in production expectations, although recent rainfall has given farmers some “encouragement”, Conab said.
In Santa Catarina, where rainfall has been especially heavy, the bureau also flagged the prospect of costs to farmers from the precipitation – in terms of extra drying costs, or damage to crops which will force price discounts.
Range of estimates
The Conab estimates come hours before the US Department of Agriculture is poised, in its monthly Wasde crop report, to revise its forecast for Brazilian crops.
The USDA is seen reducing its forecast for Brazilian soybean production by 500,000 tonnes to 94.0m tonnes, and its estimate for corn output by 380,000 tonnes to 74.62m tonnes.
Conab’s revised soybean harvest estimate is in line with the centre of broker forecasts, which range from some 91.0m tonnes from Celeres to 95.0m tonnes by Safras e Mercado.
Conab is more upbeat on Brazilian corn output than other commentators. Informa Economics pegs Brazilian corn production at 72.4m tonnes.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/brazil-reduces-corn-soy-harvest-estimates)