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Country Briefs

  Brazil

Reference Date: 13-November-2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Cereal production in 2017 expected at record levels

  2. Maize exports forecast at record level in 2017/18 marketing year

  3. Prices for cereals followed mixed trends in October, but remained below year-earlier levels

Cereal production in 2017 expected to reach record levels

Cereal production for 2017 is anticipated at about 120 million tonnes, a record level. This is mainly due to the record maize production, harvested from February to July, which has been estimated at over 99 million tonnes. High domestic prices in 2016, after a record drop in production in the same year due to an El Niño-induced drought, led to a significant increase in plantings during the 2017 season. By contrast, production of the 2017 wheat crop, which is currently being harvested, is anticipated to decline by about 18 percent from last year’s record level to 5.5 million tonnes, close to last five-year average. Ample supplies from imports depressed wheat prices resulting in a significant decline in sowings. Rice (paddy equivalent) output, harvested from February to August, has been estimated at a bumper level of 12.3 million tonnes, mostly reflecting higher yields as the area planted moderately declined as farmers diversified plantings to maize and soybeans.

Planting of the 2018 first season maize crop is well underway. Reflecting the record availabilities of maize and better prices for soybeans, the area planted for the first season is officially estimated to decline between 7.5 and 11.5 percent from the same season last year.

Maize exports forecast at record level in 2017/18 marketing year

Reflecting this year’s record maize output, exports of maize during the 2017/18 marketing year (March/February) are anticipated to reach 29 million tonnes, the second highest level in the last ten years. The weakness of the local currency since late 2016 ,which makes domestic maize more competitive in the international markets, is also providing support to the higher export forecasts.

Prices for cereals followed mixed trends in October, but remained below year-earlier levels

Prices of wheat grain declined further in October with the start of the new harvest as a result of abundant imports in the past months, mostly from Argentina. By contrast, yellow maize prices increased by nearly 10 percent in October, with seasonal trends exacerbated by an expected reduction in the area planted to the first season crop. However, prices of yellow maize were more than 30 percent lower than in October last year. Prices of paddy strengthened in October in line with seasonal trends, but remained sharply down from their year-earlier levels as a result of the recovery in the 2017 harvest from the poor output in 2016.

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