February 13, 2015

13/02/2015: Brazil's safrinha corn sowings to fall for first time in 7 years

Brazil's sowings of safrinha corn are to fall for the first time in seven years, Conab said, cutting its forecast for the country's overall production of the grain, and lowering hopes for the soybean harvest too, according to Agrimoney.

Brazilian growers will sow 8.98m hectares with safrinha, or second crop, corn this year, a decline of 230,000 hectares on the 2014 figure, Conab said in its first evidence-based estimate for plantings.


Previously, it has pencilled in farmers sowing the same area with safrinha corn as last year – a record 9.21m hectares.
The decline in safrinha sowings will also result in the first drop in Brazil's second-crop corn production in seven years – albeit of a modest 126,000 tonnes, to 48.3m tonnes.

The safrinha crop, planted on land vacated typically by the soybean harvest, is closely watched by investors since it is the source of most of the country's corn export supplies.

Conab said that the forecast of a "slight reduction" in safrinha corn sowings reflected the knock-on effects of the delayed soybean sowing season, which has been reflected to some extent in a late harvest, and so hampered second-crop plantings, which have a limited window.

Because of the threat of the imminent onset of the dry season in Mato Grosso, Brazil's top safrinha corn state, and of cool winter temperatures in second-ranked Parana, farmers prefer to get crop sown this month.

But the bureau also stressed the potential for rapid safrinha sowings by farmers for which the crop has a broader "importance", beyond financial criteria, in terms of crop rotation, and in protecting ground from hot weather in states with warmer climates.

Conab, which has been factoring in a higher safrinha corn yield this year, estimated second-crop corn production at 48.27m tonnes – down 126,000 tonnes year on year, and 1.14m tonnes below its previous forecast.

However, the downgrade was in part offset by a raised estimate for the main crop harvest, upgraded by 440,000 tonnes to 30.12m tonnes, a decline of 4.8 percent year on year.

The revision reflected in the main an improved estimate for output in southern states such as Parana and Rio Grande do Sul, where "high levels of precipitation occurred in virtually all regions from September until the first two weeks of January", enabling a "a good recovery of crops" from drier weather.

Brazil's overall corn output was pegged at 78.40m tonnes – remaining well above the 75.0m tonnes at which the US Department of Agriculture estimated production on Tuesday in the benchmark Wasde crop report.

However, in discussing soybeans, the bureau also highlighted in Centre West states such as Mato Grosso and Goias "severe water stress between the second half of November and the first fortnight of January".

This dryness had caused a "strong impact" on crop development in the main soybean-growing belt, compromising yield potential.

In Goias, "some municipalities have suffered intensely from the lack of rain at sensitive stage for the crop, for a period of some 30 days".

Conab reduced by 1.34m tonnes to 94.58m tonnes its forecast for Brazil's soybean harvest – in line with the 94.5m tonnes at which the USDA pegged the crop in Tuesday's Wasde report.

Read the article HERE.

The Global Miller
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