South America Calling

Brazil Corn Exports Continue Strong in November

Brazilian corn exports continued at record pace in November.

Shipments totaled 4.9 million metric tons (mmt) last month, up 35% on the same month last year, the Brazilian Cereal Exporters Association (ANEC) reported Tuesday.

With these figures, Brazil exported 24.9 mmt in the first 11 months of the 2015-16 season (Feb-Jan), some 35% higher than last year and closing in on the full-year record of 26.6 mmt set in 2013.

Loading actually slowed slightly last month amid abnormally wet weather in the south. In Paranagua, the No. 2 corn port, rain halted ship loaders on 15 of the 30 days in November, severely hampering operations. As a result, waiting times to load corn have ballooned to well over a month and trading companies are jostling for spots on lineups.

But exporters sought other ports to keep shipments moving and pressure was limited by the much larger volume of corn being shipped through Amazon ports this year. ANEC estimates around 2 mmt of corn will be shipped through northern ports this season.

Demand remains extremely strong for Brazilian corn, which is super-competitive as a result of the devaluation of the real.

Ship lineups remains packed for December and January, and the delays will likely mean corn shipments bleed into February, which is normally a quiet month of preparation at grain terminals ahead of the arrival of soybeans.

When February figures are included, Brazilian exports from the 2015-16 crop (Feb-Jan) will likely well surpass 30 mmt and could reach as high as 35 mmt, analysts say.

Shipments of this size solidify Brazil's position as the No. 2 corn exporter.

Corn exporting has grown over the last decade along with the practice of planting corn as a second crop after soybeans. Once Brazil's massive soy shipments slow from August, corn shipments from the second crop move into grain terminals.

However, this year, soybean shipments have not fallen off in the second half of the year as dramatically as usual. Brazil shipped 1.7 mmt of soybean in November, which massively outstrips the 200,000 mt sent in the same month last year, said ANEC.

Brazil shipped 52.6 mmt of soybeans in the first 11 months of 2015.

(AG)

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