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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 19-May-2017


  1. Cereal production in 2017 expected at record levels

  2. Maize exports forecast to recover in 2017/18 marketing year

  3. Prices for maize declined sharply in April, wheat prices stable

Cereal production in 2017 expected to reach record levels

The harvest of the main maize crop is well underway. After a record drop in production in 2016 due to an El Niño-induced drought, which led to the need of imports to supply local markets, official forecasts point to a record maize crop in 2017 with more than 93 million tonnes, as a result of increased plantings supported by high price levels. Planting of the 2017 wheat crop is well underway and early indications point to lower sowings, reflecting ample supplies in the market from the 2016 crop which have pressured prices downward. Rice output is also anticipated to increase some 13 percent from last year’s drought-reduced level and slightly above the five-year average. It mainly reflects higher yields as area planted moderately declined as farmers diversified plantings to maize and soybeans. In total, close to 114 million tonnes of cereals are anticipated to be produced in 2017, a record level.

Maize exports forecast to recover in 2017/18 marketing year

Reflecting this year’s anticipated record maize output, exports of maize during the 2016/17 marketing year (March/February) are anticipated to reach 25 million tonnes, slightly above the five-year average and well above last year’s drop in exports. Aiding the increased availabilities, the continued weakness of the local currency, the Brazilian Real, which makes Brazilian maize more competitive in international markets, is also providing support to the higher export forecasts.

Prices for maize declined sharply in April, while wheat prices are stable

Prices of yellow maize declined steeply in April with harvesting of the record 2017 first season crops underway and were some 40 percent down from a year earlier. Low prices prompted the Government to take measures to support producers by giving them the opportunity to sell their product at a guaranteed price. Wheat prices remained relatively stable in April and were well below their year-earlier levels reflecting ample supplies from the 2016 harvest and imports.