This week's U.S. Grains Council Chart of the Week shows the coarse grains supply and demand for Brazil. With tight U.S. corn supplies, many global importers have turned to South America to produce a good crop. In Brazil, conditions early in the season were dry, and while there may be some small losses in the very early planted corn in Rio Grande do Sul, it is unlikely to impact overall production numbers, according to Alfredo Navarro, a consultant for the Council based in Brazil. "Weather conditions are considered to be on the fair side," he said, which is typical of a neutral to weak El Nino weather pattern. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated Brazil will produce 70 million metric tons (2.8 billion bushels) of corn for 2012/2013 and export some 16 million tons (630 million bushels) globally.
That compares to USDA's estimate of 73 million tons (2.9 billion bushels) of corn produced in Brazil for 2011/2012, with 21 million tons (827 million bushels) being exported during the corresponding marketing year. In 2010/2011, the country produced 57.4 million tons (2.3 billion bushels), with 8.4 million tons (330 million bushels) being exported.
A short delay in planting soybeans in Brazil may also have some effect in the hectares planted with corn for the second crop, but Navarro said the adoption and use of shorter cycle soybeans will compensate for the delay.
He said any decrease in planted hectares may also be offset by better technology, as analysts reported a record tonnage of fertilizers – more than 30 million tons (1.2 billion bushels) – were sold for the summer crop. In the end, he said the total amount of corn for the summer 2013 crop may be identical or even a little larger than 2012, with yields for the summer crop perhaps averaging 9 percent more than the previous year.