Despite Bad Weather Brazil Expecting Record Harvest This Year

Corn field in Brazil The 2008 harvest of cereals, legumes and oilseeds for Brazil has been estimated to reach a record 143.6 million metric tons, which is 7.9% higher than the 2007 production (133.1 million metric tons) according to the June report from the country's Geography and Statistics Institute, IBGE.

However, this is 0.5% lower than the May estimate of 144.3 million metric tons, basically because of losses in the crop of second harvest corn, affected by harsh climactic conditions.

The total 2007 crop which was historic also marked a 17% increase over the 117 million tons crop of 2006.

June 2008 estimates for the area planted with grains, – 47.1 million hectares – represent a 3.9% increase in relation to 2007. Among the crops surveyed, soybeans, corn and rice are expected to occupy the biggest areas (respectively, 21.2; 14.4 and 2.9 million hectares) in 2008. Together, these three products account for 90% of Brazil's estimated production of grains.

Among the main summer crops, such as soybeans, rice and first harvest corn, in the main producing areas of South, Southeast and Central West Brail, harvest has already been completed without big changes in relation to May estimates.

But in terms of crops which are still in the field, climactic conditions in this June evaluation, differently from what happened in May, are not completely favorable.

Out of 25 products considered there has been an estimated increase output in 17 compared to 2007: first harvest peanuts (29.5%), second harvest peanuts (15.0%), rice in husk (11.0%), oats (11.5%), second harvest potatoes (20.9%), third harvest potatoes (2.8%), cacao nuts (3.5%), coffee (27.3%), sugarcane (14.0%), barley (2.9%), second harvest beans (34.6%), castor beans in segment (64.8%), first harvest corn (10.3%), second harvest corn (11.4%), soybeans (3.2%), sorghum (27.6%) and wheat (28.3%).

Declines are expected for seed cotton (2.5%), first harvest potatoes (2.1%), onions (4.2%), first harvest beans (6.3%), third harvest beans (6.3%), onions (2.8%), cassava (0.9%) and triticale (4.6%).

In absolute figures compared to last year highlights were: corn (both harvests), soybeans, rice and wheat. For sugarcane, also with a high volume of production, the expected increase in relation to 2007 is 14.0%.

Soybeans crop is estimated in 59.8 million tons, from 21.2 million hectares, with average yield of 2,819 kg/ha. Over 73% of Brazil's production of the oilseed is concentrated in the states of Mato Grosso (29.7%), Paraná (19.9%), Rio Grande do Sul (13.0%) and Goiás (10.9%).

The estimated production of wheat is 5.2 million tons from an area of 2.3 million hectares with average yield of 2,295 kg/ha. The states of the South region account for 93% of the Brazilian production.

The rice area is 2,870,845 ha with an estimated production of 12.3 million metric tons. The 2008 southern state of Rio Grande do Sul record crop of 7.4 million tons is 60.1% of Brazilian production.

Second harvest corn accounts for 30.5% of the overall 2008 corn production, which has been estimated as 17.5 million tons, 4.9% below May. This is mainly because of frosts in the state of Paraná, where the estimated production decreased by 15.5%, as a consequence of the reduction of average yield by 10.1%, which has changed from 4,036 kg/ha to 3,630 kg/ha in this June evaluation, and also due to the loss of 6% of the area planted.

June sugar cane production estimate is 588 million tons, 0.4% above May estimate, with a 0.5% increase in the area dedicated to this crop. Sugar cane is also used for elaborating ethanol of which Brazil is a world pioneer.

Mercopress

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