May 13, 2021

Conab Lowers Brazil Corn Production 2.5 mt to 106.4 Million

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

In their May Crop Report, Conab lowered the 2020/21 Brazil corn production by 2.5 million tons from 108.9 million tons in April to 106.4 million tons in May. The main reason for the decline was lower yields estimated for the safrinha corn crop.

The safrinha corn acreage was increased 130,000 hectares (321,000 acres) from last month to 14.96 million hectares (36.95 million acres). The safrinha corn yield was lowered 236 kg/ha from last month (3.7 bu/ac) to 5,331 kg/ha (84.7 bu/ac). The safrinha corn production was lowered 2.8 million tons from last month to 79.79 million tons.

The production of the full-season corn and the third corn crop was increased slightly. The full-season corn production is now estimated at 24.6 million tons, the safrinha production is estimated at 79.79 million, and the third crop is estimated at 1.9 million. The full-season corn represents 23% of Brazil's total corn production, the safrinha represents 75%, and the third crop represents 2%.

Conab estimates that Brazilian farmers increased their safrinha corn acreage by 8.8% in 2020/21, but 35% of the safrinha corn was planted after the ideal planting window had closed. The problem for the safrinha corn is low soil moisture due to a lack of rainfall during March, April and early May especially in south-central Brazil.

The Brazilian National Weather Service (INMET) is forecasting dryer than normal weather for May-June-July for central and south-central Brazil, which would encompass the majority of the safrinha corn acreage.

In the May WASDE Report, the USDA lowered their estimate of the 2020/21 Brazilian corn production by 7 million tons to 102.0 million. The estimates of both Conab and the USDA are higher than many private estimates in the industry.