South America Calling

Brazil's Ag Ministry Raises Corn View Further

By Alastair Stewart

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry Tuesday morning raised its corn crop view by 1.38 million metric tons to 77.45 mmt due to the excellent condition of the second crop.

That's 5 million metric tons more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting.

Excessive rain in January and February caused a delay in second-crop planting.

But 'excellent climate conditions' allied to an increase in planting area will take second-crop production 9.1% beyond the 2011-12 figure, said the ministry's Food Supply Corp (CONAB) in a report.

The second crop, for which harvesting starts in May and finishes in July, will total 42.7 mmt.

Even though there will be more corn in 2013, the ministry expects exports to fall as exploding logistics costs will vastly reduce local competitiveness. Shipments are pegged at 15 mmt, down from 22.3 mmt last year.

That's going to leave Brazil with carryover stocks of 16.6 mmt in 2014, up from 5.9 mmt last year, a fact that will inevitably weigh on domestic corn prices in the second half of 2013.

CONAB also trimmed its soybean number by 123,000 metric tons to 81.94 mmt.

In its report, the government agency cited excessive rain during the harvest in the center-west and drought in the Cerrado regions of the northeast as issues.

The government expects soybean exports to reach 36.8 mmt in 2013-14, which is lower than the crushing industry's forecast of 38.5 mmt.


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