Brazil expects to harvest up to 238.54 million tonnes of grain in the 2018/19 season. “If we have ideal weather ... we could have the biggest Brazilian grain crop,” Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said.
Brazilian farmers are expected to harvest up to 238.54 million tonnes of grain in the 2018/19 season, the government said, with the South American country potentially breaking its production record thanks to expected corn and soy bumper crops. In the prior season, Brazilian farmers harvested some 227.91 million tonnes of grains like soybeans and corn, said Conab, the government food supply and statistics agency.
Much of the gain is expected to be in corn, with output expected to rise as much as 12.75 percent to 91.08 million tonnes, Conab said in its first forecast for the 2018/19 season, which kicked off in September. Brazil’s soybean output could total 119.42 million tonnes in 2019, roughly in line with this year’s record of 119.28 million tonnes, Conab said. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of soy.
Levels of farm credit, strong fertilizer sales and the intention of farmers to plant at least 61 million hectares (150 million acres) of grain all indicate a strong harvest.“If we have ideal weather ... we could have the biggest Brazilian grain crop,” Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said at a briefing to announce the forecast.
Recent bumper crops have been eagerly sought by China, whose demand for Brazilian grains skyrocketed this year as a result of the country’s trade war with the United States.Conab expects Brazil to export 76 million tonnes of soybeans in 2018, an all-time high since records began, and 75 million tonnes in 2019. Maggi said the hope is for strong Chinese demand to continue next year, although he was concerned that the high premium Brazilian soy was receiving over Chicago prices could distort the market in the future.
EXPORTS TO HIT RECORD
Brazil is on track to export a record $100 billion worth of agricultural products this year as demand for staple commodities like beef and soybeans from the South American country remain strong, the government said. The amount represents a 4.2 percent rise from last year and is slightly higher than the previous record of $99.97 billion in 2013, government trade balance data show.
In a statement, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi was quoted as saying the agribusiness sector is largely responsible for Brazil’s recent economic recovery. He added the country’s farmers and companies had been aiming for the $100 billion export mark for some time. “Agricultural exports account for about half of Brazil’s total foreign sales and about one fourth of the country’s economy,” Eumar Novacki, the ministry’s executive secretary, said at the same event. Brazil’s gross domestic product slumped 3.5 percent in 2016 and rose by 1 percent last year. In 2018, growth is expected to be around 1.4 percent, the agriculture ministry’s statement said.