Aug 11, 2022

Brazil 2022/23 Corn Production - 125.5 Million Tons

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

Brazil's 2022/23 corn acreage and production are expected to increase due to strong support for domestic corn prices. There are several factors that are expected to support domestic corn prices including: Brazil is expected to start exporting corn to China before the end of the year, Brazil may export corn to the European Union due to low yields in western Europe, the expanding livestock industry in Brazil demands more corn production, and more corn is being used in Brazil for ethanol production. All these factors are positive for corn production.

Brazil has three corn crops, the first corn crop, the safrinha corn crop, and the third corn crop. The first corn crop is planted in August-September-October primarily in southern Brazil and it accounts for about one-quarter of Brazil's total corn production. The safrinha corn crop is planted in January and February and accounts for about three-quarters of Brazil's total corn crop. The third corn crop is planted in April in northeastern Brazil and it accounts for about 2% of Brazil's corn production. The production estimates for Brazil's three corn crops in 2022/23 are as follows:

Brazil's first corn crop - The trend in recent years has been to reduce the first corn crop acreage in favor of more soybeans and to switch some of that first corn crop to safrinha corn instead. That trend should continue in 2022/23 especially given the higher cost of inputs for corn production. The first corn crop acreage might decline 2-3% to approximately 4.5 million hectares (11.1 million acres). If the weather cooperates, the yields should improve 3-5% and the production should be approximately 26.0 million tons.

Brazil's safrinha corn crop - The safrinha corn acreage in Brazil "tags along" with the soybean acreage since it is double cropped after soybeans. The trend in recent years has been to plant more early maturing soybeans so that more of the soybeans can be double cropped with corn especially with the higher corn prices. That was the case in 2021/22 when the safrinha corn acreage increased 9.7%. In fact, Conab kept increasing the safrinha corn acreage in virtually every monthly crop report earlier this year.

The 2022/23 safrinha corn acreage might increase 5-6% to 17.5 million hectares (43.2 million acres). Safrinha corn yields have been disappointing the last two years, so if the weather cooperates in 2022/23, the safrinha corn yields could increase 5% resulting in a safrinha corn production of 97.0 million tons.

Brazil's third corn crop - This is a small crop in Brazil and I am going to assume the acreage may increase slightly with the yields unchanged for a total production of 2.5 million tons.

Bottom line - Brazilian farmers are expected to increase their 2022/23 corn acreage and if the weather cooperates, the 2022/23 Brazilian corn production could hit 125.5 million tons or approximately 10 million tons more than 2021/22 or an increase of 8.6%.