Brazil’s grain crop this year is expected to decline 10% compared with last year’s harvest, as a result of the lack of rainfall in the principal producer states.
February’s Systematic Survey of Agricultural Production (LSPA), released today by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), indicates that the estimated harvest for 2005 will amount to 120.951 million tons. The estimate in January was for 134.522 million tons.
According to the IBGE, the most affected products are unpolished rice, corn, beans, and soybeans planted in the states comprising the Southern region, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceará, and Bahia.
The institute’s note says, however, that it is necessary “to await future surveys, since a closer look at the productivities that are achieved will permit a final tally of the losses in the 2005 harvest.”
Among the losses observed so far, the most significant is in soybean cultivation, in which around 8.5 million tons were lost between December, 2004, and February of this year.
In Rio Grande do Sul alone, where soybean crop losses were heaviest, it is estimated that 5.4 million tons were lost during this period.
Translation: David Silberstein