Brazil weather fires corn crop hopes as 100m mt "absolutely possible"

Good weather and early planting are firing expectations of a much larger corn crop in Brazil, with some industry sources in the country now anticipating a crop that could reach as high as 100 million mt, market sources have told Agricensus.

“Yes, 100 million mt is on the cards now. We need some weather yet, but I guess 100 million for Brazil and 50 million for Argentina are absolutely possible,” one market source said, warning that the figure was dependent on the right weather for April and May.

“Today I would say the crop is 100% (in line) considering the best results for yields in the past. Eventually, we must see more than 95 million mt, with the upside potentially of 100 million mt,” a second source said.

Most outlooks from national and international agencies are currently congregating around the 94 million mt level, with the USDA currently expecting the total corn harvest to reach 94.5 million mt.

However, with Brazil’s primary soybean crop planted and harvested early, the country’s critical second crop – the safrinha corn crop – has seen near perfect growing conditions govern its early stages, prompting domestic Brazilian agencies to work privately with much higher figures.

“Our official number is 97 million mt… we have a little weather concern in the north of Parana, but the rest of the crop is going very well. Therefore, I would guess a number between 98 and 99 million mt,” a third market source said.

If that is realised, then 100 million mt could well be attained, sources agreed.

“The safrinha is developing very well, but we still have April and May to go,” Agrural’s Daniele Siqueira told Agricensus, with May likely to see an end to the rains that have helped support expectations of big yields, while some regions may start to experience frosts.

“The crop potential is huge; it was planted earlier than normal which is very good, but we still need to cross the bridge until harvest – and that bridge is not exactly short,” Siqueira said.

For the most part, Brazil’s first corn crop is expected to deliver around 26 million mt, most of which heads into the domestic feed market.

Key will be the developing second corn crop, which will need to break records if it is to hit the 100 million mt level as the country’s emergence as a soybean superpower has seen the first, domestic corn crop lose ground to burgeoning bean plantings.

“I think 100 million mt is very unlikely… we got close to this amount in the 2016/17 season, where we had a summer crop of 30.4 million and a winter crop of 67.3 million mt,” a fourth source said.

“To reach 100 million, we would need a 74 million mt second crop, which would be an all time high,” the source said.

“Technology is adding yields every year, but this campaign is coupled with excellent weather conditions… anything is possible,” the second source said.