BRAZIL – Brazilian agricultural production is expected to continue growing in 2023, maintaining the trend of producing another record-breaking grain harvest, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the United Sates Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In the report, the FAS post in Brazil maintained its corn planted area forecast at 22.5 million hectares (ha) for MY 2022/2023 (March 2023 – February 2024).
The forecast is 3.7 percent higher than the harvested area estimated for MY 2021/2022 (March 2022 – February 2023), maintained at 21.7 million ha.
“High demand for corn in domestic and international markets has continued to increase sowing, especially in the North and Southeast regions,” the USDA report read.
Production forecast for MY 2022/2023 was readjusted downwards to 125.5 MMT from its previous 126 MMT with post officials anticipating that adverse weather conditions may affect the sowing of second-season corn crops in the south of Brazil.
Even with the readjustment, the production forecast for corn is still 8% higher than the 116 MMT which is estimated for MY 2021/2022 market year.
Corn exports for MY 2021/2022 are also anticipated to trend higher with Post readjusting its estimates upwards from 44.5 MMT to 46.5 MMT, based on the rise in Brazilian production and the heated international demand.
Brazilian corn is now a highly sought-after commodity in different markets, including China which signed an export protocol in the middle of 2022 and started importing Brazilian corn only in November.
Within a few months, China is now the eleventh importer of Brazil corn with some analysts holding the opinion that China can reach 18 million tons of corn imported from Brazil in 2023.
Domestic consumption is forecast to 76 MMT, representing a 5.6 percent increase over the 72MMT forecasted for MY 2021/2022.
Rice production falls on reduced acreage
Unlike maize, rice production is plummeting as farmers plant less of the commodity due to the continued loss of profitability of rice crops in Brazil and high maintenance costs, especially for irrigated fields, according to the National Supply Company (CONAB)
For MY 2022/23, Post forecasts the planted area for rice to reduce to to 1.53 million hectares (ha) from its previous forecast of 1.58 million hectares (ha)
Milled rice production is expected to fall to 7.2 million metric tons, a 1.4 percent drop from the 2021/2022 production.
Despite the decline, Post forecast Brazil to export to 1.1 MMT of rice, an upward adjust from the previous estimate of 900,000 MT, based on the continued interest for rice in international markets and the favorable prices of the grain over the exchange rate.
Post, however, maintained its forecast for rice import for MY 2022/2023 at 850,000 MT, based on the steady supply and trade with Brazil’s Mercosur neighboring countries.
Rice consumption is on the other hand forecast to decline as trends in the country shift to diets that adopt less carbohydrates and a desire for less expensive alternatives such as potatoes or manioc.
Consequently, Post has lowered its consumption estimate forMY2021/22 from the previous 7.4 MMT to 7.25 MMT and further maintained its rice consumption forecast for MY 2022/2023 at 7.20 MMT of milled rice equivalent.