Thanks to record production Brazil is now the Nº1 grain exporter

25-08-2023 | |
Brazil's maize production is about to achieve the highest productivity level ever, with 6,300 kilos per hectare. Photo: Canva
Brazil's maize production is about to achieve the highest productivity level ever, with 6,300 kilos per hectare. Photo: Canva

The country forecasts exporting between 145 million and 153 million tons this season. Which will make Brazil the largest grain exporter this season, for the first time surpassing the United States.

Brazilian grain production should reach 322.652 million tons in the 2022/2023 harvest, a growth of 16.5% or 50.4 million tons above the 2021/22 season.

These numbers consolidate previous forecasts as the largest-ever production in the country. The data are in the 10th survey of grains by the National Supply Company (Conab), a public company that is linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

According to the estimate, this result is also 0.6% higher than that disclosed in June, mainly due to the better performance of “second crop” maize production in the field, and the growth of the area sown with wheat, combined with good weather conditions.

“The adjustment reinforces the fact that the Brazilian harvest this year has created a new record. Brazilian agriculture has been demonstrating its strength and potential to reach increasingly higher numbers, with constant investments that allow for productivity increases,” emphasises Conab´s president, Edegar Pretto.

Soy production

According to the bulletin, soybeans should reach a record production, estimated at 157.1 million tons, 23.1% or 29.5 million tons above the past cycle.

Corn: Highest productivity ever

As for corn, the forecast is 129.8 million tons, including the 3 crops, which means 12.9% or 14.8 million tons above the crop grown in 2021/22.

In the case of corn, Brazil is about to achieve the highest productivity level ever, with 6,300 kilos per hectare. That amount is 10% higher than the previous productivity record, which was registered in 2018/2019.

“We observed a slower advance in the harvested area of the maize second crop, which was already expected. Even so, the scenario remains extremely positive for cereal production,” explains the Monitoring Manager of Conab stocks, Fabiano Vasconcellos.

Other crops follow upward trend

Other crops, such as cotton, beans, and sorghum, followed the upward trend with percentage increases in production. Rice and some winter crops, such as oats, rye, and wheat, point to a reduction in the volume produced, compared to the previous harvest.

Hectares sown

This survey also points to an estimate of 78.2 million hectares, 4.9% or 3.7 million hectares more than was sown in 2021/22. The biggest increments are observed in soybeans, with 2.6 million hectares (6.2%), in maize, with 576 thousand hectares (2.7%), and in wheat, with 343.4 thousand hectares (11.1 %).

Greater international demand

Brazil’s increasing production is in line with greater international demand, which might lead to higher exports in 2023. As a consequence, Brazil is expected to be the largest grain exporter this season, surpassing the United States for the first time.

Brazilian producers are expected to jump from 126 million tons of grain exported in the 2021/2022 harvest to a projection between 145,9 million tons and 153.6 million tons in the 2022/2023 harvest.

If so, the volume is likely to surpass that of the United States itself, which is expected to export 129.5 million tons in this harvest, according to USDA (US Department of Agriculture), against 139.1 million tons last season (21/22). Climate conditions in the US during this season reinforce that possibility.

With increased projected external demand, Brazil estimates that 48.8 million tons of maize will leave the country. There is also a forecast for an increase of 27.6% for the internal stock at the end of this crop year, reaching 10.5 million tons.

In terms of soy, Conab´s bulletin points out that exports are still estimated at 97.17 million tons, which is 21.5% higher than the previous harvest.

Daniel Azevedo Freelance journalist Brazil
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