Brazil government forecasts record 2013/14 soybean crop
Brazil's government crop supply agency Conab on Wednesday forecast a 2013/14 soybean crop that would surpass last season's record by as much as 10 percent and make Brazil the world's top producer as farmers expand into new fields.
Brazil will likely produce between 87.6 million tonnes and 89.7 million tonnes of the oilseed, Conab said, on the high end of most private estimates and well above last season's record 81.5 million tonnes.
Planting is only about 3 percent complete, after less than average rain in many areas in September, and the climate will need to cooperate for the crop to reach its full potential.
Rains starting in top soy state Mato Grosso have increased bets on a solid crop, however, and helped push Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans down on Wednesday -- along with a speedy harvest in the United States.
Soy area in Brazil will likely reach a record of between 28,663 and 29,356 hectares, Conab said, "consolidating a tendency to increase in all the producing regions."
For the second year, Brazil's soy exports, estimated at 45.9 million tonnes, will likely surpass domestic consumption of 40.7 million tonnes, helping replenish global stocks.
Conab also estimated a 2013/14 corn crop of between 78.4 million tonnes and 79.6 million tonnes, below the 81.3 million tonnes expected in 2012/13 as farmers decrease area planted between 4 and 7 percent due to low local prices.
Brazil's corn output comes increasingly from the second of two annual crops that is planted in February after soybeans are harvested. Conab did not calculate the second 2013/14 crop and instead used the 2012/13 estimate of 46.2 million tonnes, and its forecast could change significantly in coming months.
Conab cut its forecast for the 2013/14 wheat crop to 4.77 million tonnes, down from the 4.95 million tonnes seen last month. A July frost wiped out more than 50 percent of output in Parana state, where 26 percent of the crop has been harvested.
Even with the losses, Brazil's wheat crop should be nearly 9 percent larger than the year-ago crop because farmers expanded area planted by 15 percent, Conab said.
The agency forecast a 2013/14 cotton lint crop of 1.6 million tonnes, up from 1.3 million tonnes a year earlier, as farmers favor planting the textile amid low corn prices.