The 2005 harvest in Brazil should attain 119.48 million tons, practically the same as in 2004, when 119.36 million tons of cereals, legumes, and oilseed crops were harvested.
The March estimate by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), indicates that all regions of the country, except for the South, should present greater harvests in 2005.
The southern region of the country will have a 15.77% reduction in its harvest due to the drought that affected the plantations at the beginning of this year.
The states in the South account for 34.43% of the country’s total agricultural production, second only to the states of the Midwest region, responsible for 37.89% of the total. The Southeast contributes 15.42%, the Northeast, 8.90%, and the North, 3.36%.
The IBGE study highlights a 7.40% increase in herbaceous cotton production, due to the addition of new areas of cultivation in Bahia (in the Northeast of the country), São Paulo (in the Southeast), and Goiás (in the Midwest).
There was also a 6.09% increase in castor bean production due to government initiatives on behalf of this product. The production declines of 3.13% in first harvest beans and 2.89% in soybeans, on the other hand, were influenced by the lack of rainfall in the major producing states.
Beans suffered from excessive rain and soy, apart from the drought in the south, also suffered from excessive rain in other productive regions.
The IBGE’s estimate has improved with regard to the forecast for the beginning of the year. In February, the institute estimate projected a 10.09% drop in the 2005 harvest, in comparison with 2004, as a result of climatic difficulties.
Despite excessive rains and the drought in the main production hubs, Brazilian agribusiness exports are still on the rise.
Brazil had revenues of US$ 8.7 billion with agricultural and livestock products between January and March this year, with a 12% increase over the same period last year.
Among the products that presented the best performance are coffee, sugar and alcohol. Foreign sales of coffee and grain rose 62% and those of sugar and alcohol 54%. Exports of the soy complex, however, dropped 13.5% in the period.