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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 10-June-2024


  1. Despite significant year‑on‑year decline, above‑average maize output expected in 2024

  2. Maize and rice exports forecast at below‑average levels in 2024/25 marketing year

  3. Rice prices well above year‑earlier levels in April 2024

Despite significant yearonyear decline, aboveaverage maize output expected in 2024

Harvesting of the 2024 minor season maize crop is nearing completion and production is expected to be below the average. This is due to low plantings, which are 8 percent below the average, on account of saturated soil moisture in the key producing southern region at planting time.

The 2024 main season maize crop, which accounts for about 75 percent of the annual production, is currently at flowering and grainfilling stages. An aboveaverage seasonal output is officially forecast due to large plantings, estimated at 6 percent above the average, and favourable crop conditions in the main producing state of Mato Grosso. This more than offset the impact of belowaverage rainfall amounts in April 2024 in the minor producing centralsouthern region on yields. Over this region, dry weather conditions are forecast between June and August.

Aggregate 2024 maize production is officially forecast at 111.6 million tonnes, nearly 5 percent above the fiveyear average. This represents a decline of 15 percent compared to the record output harvested in 2023, reflecting a cutback in plantings, driven by yearonyear lower prices and reduced yields due to suboptimal weather conditions in some parts of the country.

The 2024 paddy harvest is nearly completed and official estimates point to a slightly belowaverage production of 10.25 million tonnes. The paddy crop is grown predominantly in the southern region and excessive rainfall amounts at planting time reduced the area sown. Torrential rains between mid-April and early May caused unprecedented flooding in Rio Grande do Sul State, where about 70 percent of the annual paddy production is harvested. The flooding did not cause significant losses on standing crops, as it occurred when the harvest was well advanced, but it generated losses of harvested crops in storage facilities and curtailed transport activity due to damaged infrastructure, with negative effects on the commercialization of rice. Amid recordhigh prices, the government removed the import tariffs on paddy and milled and brown rice from 21 May 2024 to 31 December 2024 in order to guarantee the adequate supply of rice and contain price spikes.

Planting operations of the 2024 wheat crop has recently started and sowings are officially forecast at a well aboveaverage level of 3.1 million hectares, driven by strong demand by importing countries. Dry weather conditions are forecast over the key producing southern region between June and August, curtailing yield prospects.

Maize and rice exports forecast at belowaverage levels in 2024/25 marketing year

Exports of maize, the country’s major exportable cereal, are forecast at a below‑average level of 31 million tonnes in the 2024/25 marketing year (March/February). This is mainly due to strong domestic demand, together with low international prices, which instigate domestic sales. Similarly, the reduced 2024 paddy production is forecast to result in below‑average rice exports in 2024 (January/December). By contrast, above‑average wheat exports are expected in 2023/24 (August/July), reflecting the abundant supply of the above‑average 2023 wheat output.

Rice prices well above yearearlier levels in April 2024

Wholesale prices of rice have been rising since December 2023 in the key producing state of Rio Grande do Sul, underpinned by prospects for a belowaverage output and, more recently, by concerns over the impact of flooding on the harvest. In April 2024, prices were at record levels and nearly 50 percent higher yearonyear due to tight supplies from the belowaverage harvest in 2023.

After seasonal declines in the first quarter of 2024, maize prices rose in April 2024 due to expectations of a decline in the main season output, compared to 2023. However, prices in April were still about 30 percent below their yearearlier levels, reflecting the record production in 2023.

Prices of wheat weakened or were stable during the first four months of 2024, reflecting an adequate market supply. As of April 2024, prices were nearly 25 percent down from a year earlier, weighed by the abundant supply from the aboveaverage output harvested in 2023.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

This brief was prepared using the following data/tools:
FAO/GIEWS Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool .

FAO/GIEWS Earth Observation for Crop Monitoring .

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) .