Sep 21, 2023

Conab Estimates 2023/24 Brazil Soybeans up 5.1%, Corn Down 9.1%

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

In their Agricultural Perspective - 2023/24, Conab estimated the 2023/24 Brazilian soybean production at a new record of 162.4 million tons or an increase of 5.1% or 7.8 million tons. The 2023/24 soybean acreage is estimated at 45.3 million hectares (111.8 million acres) or up 2.8%.

Soybean acreage is estimated to be up 0.8% in Parana, 1.0% in Mato Grosso, 1.8% in Rio Grande do Sul, 2.7% in Goias, and 6.5% in Matopiba (includes the states of Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui, and Bahia). The increased acreage is due to the conversion of degraded pastures to row crops, fallow land converted to crop production, and limited clearing of new land.

Brazilian farmers "live and die" with soybeans and even though margins will be tighter in 2023/24 compared to previous years, the soybean acreage will expand for the 17th year in a row.

The nationwide soybean yield in 2023/24 is estimated to be up 2.2% to 3,586 kg/ha (53.4 bu/ac) due mainly to improved yields in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Domestic soybean crush is estimated to increase 3.8% to 54.8 million tons with the main motive being the increased use of soybean oil in biodiesel. Soybean exports are expected to increase 4.6% to 101.4 million tons.

In their Agricultural Perspective - 2023/24, Conab estimated the 2023/24 Brazilian corn production at 119.0 million tons, which is down 9.1% from 2022/23 or 12 million tons. The total corn acreage is down 4.8% to 21.2 million hectares (52.3 million acres). The first crop corn acreage is down 5.4% and the safrinha acreage is down 4.8% to 16.35 million hectares (40.3 million acres). Nationwide corn yields are expected to be down 4.6%.

The negative attitude toward corn is due to the current low margins after a record large 2022/23 crop. Domestic demand in 2023 is expected to be up 6.4% to 84.6 million tons with corn used for ethanol up 37.2% and corn used for animal rations up 2.7%. Corn exports in 2024 estimated at 38.0 million tons compared to 52 million tons in 2023. Domestic prices are expected to remain weak during the first semester of 2024 but improve during the second semester due to short supply and high demand. The domestic market is expected to offer higher prices during the second semester than the export market.