Dec 08, 2023

Conab December Crop Report: Lower Soy and Corn Production

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

In their December Crop Report, Conab lowered the 2023/24 Brazilian soybean estimate 2.25 million tons from last month to 160.17 million. For the 2023/24 Brazilian corn crop, Conab lowered the estimate 0.54 million tons from last month to 118.52 million.

Hot and dry conditions during October and the first half of November negatively impacted the earlier planted soybeans resulting in erratic germination and emergence. Heat and moisture stress delayed the plant growth resulting in shorter plants and reduced yield potentials. The rainfall amounts and coverage increased during the second half of November, but they came too late for a complete recovery of the earlier planted soybeans.

Brazil's 2023/24 soybean production is estimated at 160.17 million tons, which represents an increase of 5.57 million tons or 3.6% compared to the 154.60 million tons produced in 2022/23.

The 2023/24 Brazilian soybean acreage is now estimated at 45.309 million hectares (111.9 million acres), which is up 19,000 hectares compared to last month. The Brazilian soybean acreage is now up 2.8% compared to last year. The nationwide soybean yield is estimated at 3,535 kg/ha (52.6 bu/ac), which is down 0.76 bu/ac from last month, but up 0.8% from last year.

Brazil's 2023/24 corn production is estimated at 118.52 million tons, which represents a reduction of 13.42 million tons or 10.2% compared to the 131.94 million tons produced in 2022/23.

The lower corn production this month was due mainly to a reduction of the first crop corn production. The first crop corn acreage was lowered 70,000 hectares to 4.03 million (9.95 million acres) and the yield was lowered 0.5 bu/ac to 6,275 kg/ha (99.7 bu/ac) for a total production of 25.3 million tons (down 7.5% from last year).

The safrinha corn acreage was left unchanged from last month at 16.41 million hectares (40.53 million acres), which is down 4.5% from last year. Conab indicated that a revision to the safrinha corn acreage will start in January. It is widely anticipated that the safrinha corn acreage will be revised downward due to delayed soybean planting, low domestic corn prices, erratic weather, and the potential for an earlier-than-normal end to the summer rainy season.

Conab will issue their first in-field assessment of the safrinha corn crop in their February Crop Report. Currently, Conab is estimating the 2023/24 safrinha corn crop at 91.23 million tons, which is down 11.13 million tons or 10.9% compared to last year.

Brazil's first corn crop production at 25.03 million tons represents 21.1% of the total corn production. A safrinha production of 91.23 million tons would represent 76.9% of the total and a third corn crop of 1.98 million tons would represent 1.6% of the total.