Nov 14, 2023

Brazil's 2023/24 Corn Production Faces Numerous Obstacles

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

Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The first corn crop in southern Brazil was 76% planted as of late last week compared to 70% last year according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 10% for the week. A few days of dry weather last week allowed farmers to get back in the field but more wet weather is forecasted to return to southern Brazil, especially Rio Grande do Sul.

There continues to be bad news for Brazil's 2023/24 corn production. Conab lowered their 2023/24 corn estimate 0.34 million tons in their November Crop Report to 119.06 million due to a reduction of 40,000 hectares for the first corn crop. For the safrinha crop, a lack of rain has forced farmers to delay their soybean planting by as much as 30 days, which now jeopardizes the safrinha corn planting. Even before the soybean planting was delayed, farmers were wary of planting safrinha corn due to corn prices that are down 20-40% compared to last year.

There is nearly universal agreement in Brazil that farmers will either reduce their safrinha corn acreage or plant their corn with the minimal inputs possible. The safrinha corn production will be smaller than last year, it's just a matter of how much smaller. The safrinha crop represents approximately three-quarters of Brazil's total corn production. Additionally, the first corn crop is encountering problems in southern Brazil due to too much rain.

Therefore, the 2023/24 Brazil corn production was lowered 2.0 million tons to 121.0 million and it could move lower depending on when the safrinha corn gets planted, the weather during the growing season, and if the summer rainy season ends earlier than normal. So, there is a lot of downside risk for the Brazilian corn crop and little upside potential.

Parana - Farmers in the state have planted 95% of their first corn crop with 3% germinating, 94% in vegetative development, and 3% pollinating according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The corn is rated 3% poor, 19% average, and 78% good, which is a slightly lower rating compared to the prior week.

Rio Grande do Sul - Farmers in the state had planted 79% of their corn as of last week and the corn is 75% germinating and in vegetative development, 20% pollinating, and 5% filling grain. Most of the corn is generally in good condition but some of the corn is yellowish due to saturated conditions and some of the corn in low-lying areas may need to be replanted.

Mato Grosso - Farmers who had to delay their soybean planting by as much as 30 days have indicated they will reduce their safrinha corn acreage. How much is the question. The safrinha corn acreage will be down at least 10% statewide, maybe more. Some farmers have indicated that they will reduce their safrinha acreage by at least 50% with other farmers already canceling their corn seed purchases.

AgResource Brasil lowered their estimate of the Brazilian corn crop to 123.5 million tons compared to 129.6 million in October. Conab is estimating the crop at 119.0 million tons and the USDA is estimating the crop at 129.0 million.