The 2004/2005 Brazilian grain crop will be 113.7 million tons, as announced, yesterday, in the fourth estimate of the National Supply Company (Conab).
This number represents a reduction of 13.4% in the production when compared to Conab’s last December estimate, which was of 131.9 million tons.
The 2004/2005 harvest fell 4.6% compared to that of 2003/2004, which was of 119.1 million tons.
Production decrease was caused by the extended lack of rainfall in several Brazilian states, in the beginning of the year.
Soy and corn are the most affected by drought, evaluates Conab. Soy’s lower production represents losses in the amount of US$ 2.02 billion; and corn’s amount to US$ 400 million.
According to Conab’s Director of Logistics and Management, Sílvio Isopo, the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul is responsible for 50% of the total loss.
Comparing to December 2004 estimates, the country’s highest loss was in the soy production, which dropped from 60.2 to 50.2 million tons. A 16.6% reduction.
Corn production will fall 14.5% when also compared to December 2004. Current corn production is estimated in 36 million tons.
Rice was the only grain with a positive result, which went from 12.1 million tons in the first estimate to 13.2 million tons, an increase of 9.3%.
To prepare the estimate, 78 Conab experts visited 612 municipalities from April 25-29. Each year, Conab makes six estimates to obtain an outlook of the country’s grain production.
The Minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues, said that the volume of exports will probably repeat the same level of last year, approximately US$ 39 billion.
Rodrigues explained that production costs of all agricultural products are outdated.
“Income has been decreasing a lot this year because of growing costs, lower prices due to high world supply, and production fall,” he said.
The Minister informed that due to the lower drought-related harvest, the country will probably need to import one or two million tons of corn this year.