Crop Explorer - Commodity Intelligence Reports - Brazil


Jul 26 2022 | Brazil Wheat: Consecutive Years with Record Production Anticipated in MY 2022/23
Multiple factors have converged to lead to a large projected increase in wheat planted area for MY 2022/23 in Brazil. The primary reason is a historic rise in global wheat prices, 60 percent higher than at the beginning of the year (Figure 1), due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (the fifth largest exporter globally). Other motivations are internal to Brazil; one is connected to the push for self-reliance because half of the domestic consumption has to be imported. The other driving factor is the demand for domestic animal feed. The government agricultural research institute, Embrapa, has developed several wheat cultivars to meet the forage demand in southern Brazil. The main variety grown though is common wheat, Triticum aestivum L., primarily used for bread making.

Sep 13 2021 | Brazil Corn 2020/21: A Delayed Start in Planting and Severe Drought Reduce Yields
USDA estimates total corn production for marketing year (MY) 2020/21 in Brazil at 86.0 million metric tons (mmt), 16 mmt (16 percent) below last year’s record crop. Total harvested area, for all three corn crops, is estimated at a record 19.8 million hectares (mha), up 1.3 mha (7 percent) from the previous year’s record area of 18.5 mha. Yield is estimated at 4.34 tons per hectare (t/ha), 21 percent below last year’s crop (Figure 1) and 17 percent lower than the 5-year record of 5.35 t/ha. Severe drought in key secondseason corn regions led to the decrease in yields.

Jun 28 2021 | Brazil Soybeans 2020/21: Another Season with a Record Harvest
Brazil’s soybean harvest is mostly complete for MY 2020/21 with production estimated at a record 137.0 million metric tons (mmt, Figure 1), up 8.5 mmt (7 percent) from last season’s record crop of 128.5 mmt. The area harvested this season is also at a record of 38.6 million hectares (mha), up 1.7 mha (5 percent) from last season’s record. Soybean yield is estimated at a record of 3.55 tons per hectare (t/ha), up 2 percent from last season, up 7 percent from the 5-year average and slightly below the 10-year trend (3.60 t/ha). The record yield was attained in 2016/17 at 5.9 t/ha.

Aug 26 2020 | Brazil Corn Production: Drought in the south for safrinha corn combined with high yields in the center balance production for 2019/20
In spite of the severe drought experienced in the southern states during the safrinha corn season, overall corn production in Brazil for 2019/20 remains at record levels, because of the positive offsets in Mato Grosso, Goiás, and the northeastern region. USDA estimates 2019/20 Brazil corn harvested area at 18.4 million hectares, with total production at 101 million metric tons and yield at 5.49 tons per hectare (Figure 1).

Aug 12 2019 | Brazil’s 2018/19 Record Cotton Harvest Underway
Brazil is harvesting its largest ever cotton crop, estimated at 12.8 million 480-lb bales for MY 2018/19 (Figure 1). The record production is primarily due to the highest planted area in 27 years (since 1991/92) with the benefit of favorable weather. Harvested area is estimated at 1.6 million hectares, up 36 percent from last year (Figure 2). Higher prices and two prior seasons of record yields encouraged producers to plant more area. Most of Brazil’s cotton is planted as a second crop after soybeans are harvested.

Sep 28 2018 | Brazil Wheat: Rains Arrived Too Late for Drought-Affected Areas of Paraná
Brazil wheat production for 2018/19 is estimated at 4.7 million metric tons (mmt), up 0.44 mmt or 10 percent from last year but down 16 percent from the 5- year average. Unfavorable weather reduced last year’s yield. Area is estimated at 2.0 million hectares, up 0.08 mha from last year. After several successive years of decline, wheat area rose this season for the first time in four years (Figure 1). Production, however, is estimated down from last year due to early season drought that reduced prospects for the crop in portions of Paraná. The return of rainfall in August and early September was beneficial for the crop although yield is still lower than the 5-year average due to drought losses.

Jan 2 2018 | Season of Unfavorable Weather Reduces Brazil Wheat Harvest to Lowest in 10 Years
Brazilian wheat production in 2017/18 fell far below expectations. In comparison to last season’s favorable weather which gave rise to a record wheat crop, the 2017/18 crop’s prospects deteriorated through a series of adverse weather events that reduced output to an estimated at 4.25 million metric tons, 33 percent below last year’s record and a 10-year low (Figure 1). Harvested area is estimated at 1.9 million hectares, down 10 percent from last year and equal to the 2012/13 area which is the lowest in 10 years. Yield is estimated at 2.37 metric tons per hectare (mt/ha), down 25 percent from last year’s record, and below the 5-year average of 2.47 mt/ha. (For more information please contact Maria.Anulacion@fas.usda.gov)

Sep 22 2017 | Planting of Summer Crops Begins in Brazil
Brazil’s 2017/18 summer crop cycle is beginning, while the harvest of remaining corn and cotton crops concludes the bumper 2016/17 season. During the exceptional 2016/17 season, characterized by plentiful and well-distributed rainfall with adequate solar radiation, both soybean and corn production reached unprecedented levels and record yields were attained for the summer crops (corn, soybean, rice and cotton). The planting of summer crops generally coincides with the onset of seasonal rains. The planting of first-crop corn and rice has begun. Soybean planting gets underway in the latter half of September and cotton planting begins in October.

Aug 24 2017 | Brazil Wheat Faces One Weather Challenge after Another
Brazil wheat production for 2017/18 is estimated at 5.2 million metric tons (mmt), down 1.53 mmt or 23 percent from last year and down 7 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 1.95 million hectares, down 0.17 mha from last year. Lower prices and higher costs of production have driven wheat area down for the third year in a row, and wheat area (see Figure 1) has declined an average of 10 percent per year since 2015. This season has been a challenging one due to a series of unfavorable weather events that have reduced prospects for the crop.

Sep 12 2013 | Brazil Soybeans: Record Production due to Increased Planting Prospects
The USDA forecasts Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean production at a record 88.0 million tons, up 3.0 million tons or 3.5 percent from last month and up 6.0 million tons or 7 percent from last year.

May 20 2013 | Brazil: Record Corn Production in 2012/13; Lower Expectations for Next Year
Brazilian corn production in 2012/13 is currently estimated at a record 76.0 million tons, surpassing last year’s record harvest of 73.0 million metric tons. The 2012/13 crop benefitted from abundant rains in key-growing areas, especially the state of Mato Grosso. Expectations for next year are lower, with production forecast at 72.0 million metric tons. Corn area in 2013/14 is expected to be marginally lower and is estimated at 15.50 million hectares, down from 15.64 million hectares in 2012/13. Corn yields in 2013/14 are forecast at 4.65 tons per hectare, 4 percent lower than the 4.86 tons level achieved in 2012/13. At this early stage the 2013/14 forecast includes the assumption of normal weather, which would not include a repeat of the exceedingly beneficial conditions experienced in 2012/13 ( an extended rainy season and above-average precipitation in Mato Grosso). Planting of the first corn crop in 2013/14 will begin in September, while second-crop planting operations will begin in January 2014.

Aug 10 2012 | Record Soybean and Corn Area Expected for Brazil’s Upcoming 2012/13 Season
The recent US drought resulted in record prices for soybean and corn during July and August 2012, and Brazilian farmers in the southern hemisphere are expected to respond to these favorable prices by planting record soybean and corn area during the next several months. The favorable soybean-corn price ratios should motivate Brazilian farmers to plant more soybeans during September-December, with first-season corn area expected to be less than last year. However, a record second-season corn area is expected to be planted from January-February 2103 to compensate for the reduced first-season corn area. The trend for corn area in Brazil is to plant more second-season corn, with next year’s second-season corn area expected to exceed the first-corn season corn area for the first time (refer to Figure 1). In addition, Brazilian farmers in the Midwest and Northeast are adding more irrigation systems which reduce drought risks, increase yields, and increase crop area with double and triple cropping potential.

Jul 27 2012 | Brazil's Latest Agriculture Frontier in Western Bahia and MATOPIBA
Brazil's new agriculture frontier is commonly called "MATOPIBA", where soybean production during 2011/12 reached 7.5 million tons, or more than 10 percent of Brazil's total soybean production of 65.5 MT. MATOPIBA is an acronym that uses the first two letters of the four states where soybean production is expanding into southern Maranhão (MA), Tocantins (TO), southern Piauí (PI), and western Bahia (BA) (refer to Figure 1). Agriculture expansion is occurring in the MATOPIBA region where cheap land prices within the cerrado (or savannah) have close proximity to the coastline and the region is not landlocked like the neighboring and top soybean-producing state of Mato Grosso. In addition, most of the cropland expansion in MATOPIBA is occurring in the cerrado (or savannah) and not occurring within the Amazon Forest, as occurred in Mato Grosso.

Sep 29 2010 | Economic Outlook Good for Brazil to Plant Corn and Soybeans
Brazil corn and soybean plantings are approaching with most seeding to take place from October to December. Early soybean planting began September 16 when the seasonal planting ban to prevent the spread of soybean rust ended. Following main season soybeans, safrinha corn is planted in January and February. Currently dry weather is preventing planting in the central section, very little sowing is expected until seasonal rains begin.

Apr 15 2008 | 2008 Crop Trip Report: Brazil Expected to Produce Three Record 2007/08 Crops
FAS-Washington and Brasilia personnel performed a crop assessment tour from February 15-March 5, 2008 in southern and center-west Brazil, as indicated in Figure 1, and the survey team transected the main grain and soybean belts in Mato Grosso and Parana states. Many producers were beginning to plant the second or safrinha crop in both Mato Grosso and Parana states where double-cropping is possible.

Mar 30 2007 | Record 2006/07 Soybean Crop in Brazil
Soybeans are currently being harvested in Brazil's Center-West including the major soybean producing state of Mato Grosso. Soybean harvest peaks in late March to early April and continues into May in the southern states, particularly in Rio Grande do Sul. In its March 2007 estimate the USDA forecast a record soybean crop for Brazil of 57 million tons, which is 4 percent larger than last year's crop, despite a 5 percent decrease in area. A yield of 2.7 tons per hectare is expected, which is the highest yield since 2002/03 due the serious problems with Asian soybean rust and drought over the last three years.

Mar 30 2007 | Brazil's 2006/07 Record Corn Crop
While Brazil's corn area has been quite stable over the last decade, high world prices, largely influenced by increasing U.S. ethanol demand, are creating an invigorated interest in planting corn. Because the increase in corn prices did not occur until 2006/07 first-crop (summer) corn planting was underway in late 2006, summer corn area was relatively unaffected. Brazilian farmers, however, are currently planting more second-crop winter ('safrinha') corn such that safrinha area has increased approximately 16 percent from last year. On average, winter corn accounts for 25 percent of Brazil's total corn area and 23 percent of the total corn production. Winter corn planting should be nearly finished by the end of March.

Mar 30 2007 | Brazil 06/07 Rice Update and trip Report
Overall, the weather has been good to very good for Brazil's 06/07 rice crop and an above average yield of 3.76 tons per hectare (for unmilled rice) is expected. Harvest is underway in the southern states. Harvest will begin in April in the Center-West followed by harvest in the Northeast. USDA's March 2006/07 milled rice production estimate is unchanged at 7.7 million tons (or 11.3 million tons of rough production assuming a 0.68 milling rate). Brazil's harvested rice area is forecast at 3.0 million hectares, which is unchanged from last month and nearly the same as last year, however this year's area estimate is significantly lower than rice area in the years prior to 05/06. Analysts from the Foreign Agricultural Service traveled in the rice areas of Brazil from January 16 - 26. Many facts and opinions in this report were obtained from interviews and observations made during this trip.

Jun 9 2006 | Brazilian Currency Weakens As Crops Are Harvested
In just a month, the value of the Brazilian real has fallen by 8 percent against the dollar, where 1 U.S. dollar was equal to R$2.06 reals and is now valued at R$2.23 reals (Brazil Central Bank rate for June 6). This is seen as benefiting Brazil since, over the past two years, the opposite trend had been occurring where the real had been appreciating making Brazilian exports less competitive, at the same time increasing their cost of inputs such as fertilizer and fuel, resulting in reduced crop profitability.

Mar 10 2006 | Brazil: 2005/06 Crop Situation Update.
Harvest operations for major summer grain and oilseed crops are underway across Brazil, and will pick up pace substantially in March and early April. By all accounts the 2005/06 crop year has been a difficult one in which low commodity prices, increased production costs, and low potential profitability led to widespread reductions in crop area devoted to soybeans, rice, and cotton. Variable rainfall during the growing season also negatively affected soybean and corn crops in several southern states. However, as most summer crops enter their final maturation growth stages, crop yield outlook on the whole is generally positive, though returns for major crops like soybeans and rice are below the costs incurred by producers in many areas. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) analysts traveled through important agricultural regions in Brazil during January and February, encompassing the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, Mato Grosso, Para, Maranhao, and Piuai. These states collectively account for 66 percent of national soybean production, 54 percent summer corn, 85 percent rice, and 50 percent of the cotton crop.

Jan 12 2006 | Brazil: Post-Planting Soybean Update
Planting operations for the 2005/06 soybean growing season in Brazil came to an end in late December, with virtually all areas of the country being sown within the normal planting window. Timely rains during the October-December period across the majority of the growing region gradually raised soil moisture levels, ensuring strong early season vegetative growth and development.

Nov 22 2005 | Brazil: Soybean and Corn Planting Progress
Soybean and corn planting progress throughout the country has steadily advanced during the past 6 weeks, closely tracking the typical pace achieved in the past 5 years. As of November 20th nearly 65 percent of the soybean crop and 80 percent of the summer corn crop has reportedly been sown, with rapid progress noted in most areas as weather permits.

Jan 21 2003 | Brazil: Future Agricultural Expansion Potential Underrated
During a recent trip through Brazil, USDA/FAS personnel met with numerous official agricultural research agencies and private sector agribusiness companies and consultants in an effort to learn more about the future of farming in the country. Collectively, the individuals and organizations represented the entire supply chain from research and production to consumption and exports. The key observation gleaned from this investigation is that the future of farming in Brazil has enormous potential, and that previous estimates of the scope for possible agricultural expansion have been grossly underestimated.

Sep 9 2005 | Brazil: 2005/06 Soybean Area Projected to Decline
As the 2005/06 planting season approaches, it is apparent that a farm credit crisis along with a sharp decline in the profitability of soybeans will likely lead to a net reduction in sown area, ending a remarkable five-year expansion phase. The USDA September estimate for Brazilian soybean area is 22.0 million hectares, down nearly 0.9 million or 4 percent from last year. Soybean production is estimated at a record 60.0 million tons, up 9.0 million or 18 percent from last year.

Jun 10 2005 | Brazil: Total Crop Area Forecast to Increase Slightly in 2005/06
Brazil's robust recent agricultural expansion is expected to cool somewhat this year as high production costs, depressed commodity prices, and a strengthening domestic currency take a collective toll on farmer's financial returns. USDA currently estimates Brazil's 2005/06 total grain, oilseed and cotton area at 44.7 million hectares, up only 2 percent from last year's record level.

Feb 11 2000 | BRAZIL SOYBEANS IMPACTED BY DELAYED PLANTINGS IN THE SOUTH
The 1999/2000 Brazilian soybean production is estimated at 30.5 million tons, or about 2 percent below last year's crop. Harvested area is currently estimated at 13.1 million hectares, up 2 percent from last year. Soybean plantings in the south were significantly delayed by the earlier dryness. October to December rainfall was 50-75 percent of normal in southern Mato Groso do Sul, Sao Paulo, western Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Widespread rainfall during January help replenish moisture reserves in parts of Sao Paulo, Parana, and central Rio Grande do Sul. Rainfall in the north-northeastern states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Minas Gerais remains generally favorable

Mar 9 2000 | BRAZIL: FAVORABLE WEATHER BOOSTS PROSPECTS FOR THE COTTON CROP
Brazil's cotton production is estimated 2.5 million bales, up 19 percent from last year. Area harvested remains unchanged from last month at 695,000 hectares. Cotton production in marginal areas has given way to large mechanized commercial farms, as plantings have shifted from the traditional states of Parana and Sao Paulo into the states of Mato Grosso, Goias, (Center-Oeste Region), Bahia (Nordeste), and Minas Gerais (Sudeste). . The cotton crop in parts of western Parana and Sao Paulo suffered some damage due to earlier dryness in October - December. However, normal to above normal rainfall during January and February boosted overall yield prospects in the Center-Oeste, Nordeste, and Sudeste states.

Apr 12 2000 | BRAZIL: FAVORABLY DRIER WEATHER BENEFITS SOYBEAN HARVEST
Brazil's 1999/2000 soybean production is estimated 30.5 million tons, unchanged from last month but down 2 percent from last year. Area harvested remains unchanged from last month at 13.1 million hectares. The 1999/2000 crop season was characterized by a drought during October to December which delayed plantings in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. However, improved soil moisture conditions during January and February boosted prospects for the soybean crop in drought impacted states. Crop conditions within the states of Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, and Sao Paulo remain generally favorable. Moderate to heavy showers during March delayed harvesting operations in Rio Grande do Sul. The return of drier weather benefited soybean harvesting (2000/1999/Average, percent harvested) in Parana (50/66/77), Mato Grosso(84/80/78), Goias (61/70/64), Mato Grosso do Sul (60/68/72), Minas Gerais (15/27/33), and Brazil (47/53/57).

Oct 21 1999 | Dryness in Brazil Beneficial for Wheat Harvest, But May Result in Late Soybean Planting
Sparse rainfall over the past four weeks in central Brazil has provided good conditions for the wheat harvest (normally occurring in September-November). However, the hot, dry weather has hampered soybean planting. The planting window for this crucial soybean area extends into December, so the dryness to date will likely have more of an impact on harvest timing, rather than total production.

Dec 10 1999 | DRYNESS THREATENS BRAZIL SOYBEANS
Brazil's 1999/2000 soybean crop, currently estimated at 31.0 million tons, is being threatened by prolonged dryness. Production shortfalls are likely if rainfall conditions do not improve within the next three weeks. Nearly 78 percent of soybeans were planted by December 3rd, which is lightly behind schedule compared to 80 percent during last year and 85 percent for the 5-year average. The southern states of Mato Grosso do Dul, Parana and Rio Grande do Sul are lagging behind due to the ongoing drought (shown below).

Dec 23 1999 | RECENT RAINS BENEFIT SOYBEAN PLANTINGS IN BRAZIL
Recent rains helped Brazilian farmers plant nearly all of the 1999/2000 soybean crop by mid-December. In southern states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul, reports indicate that plantings were delayed beyond the optimal period of December 15th, raising some concerns about potential yield reductions. Crop conditions in other important soybean producing states of Mato Grosso, Goias and Minas Gerais remain favorable.

Jun 10 2005 | Brazil: Total Crop Area Forecast to Increase Slightly in 2005/06
Brazil's robust recent agricultural expansion is expected to cool somewhat this year as high production costs, depressed commodity prices, and a strengthening domestic currency take a collective toll on farmer's financial returns. USDA currently estimates Brazil's 2005/06 total grain, oilseed and cotton area at 44.7 million hectares, up only 2 percent from last year's record level.

Aug 10 2000 | BRAZIL: CORN PRODUCTION ESTIMATE LOWERED DUE TO FROST IN PARANA
Brazil's 1999/2000 total corn production is estimated at 33.0 million tons, down by about 1 percent from last month, but 2 percent above last year. Harvested area is estimated at 12.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but 2 percent above last year.

Sep 12 2000 | BRAZIL: WHEAT PRODUCTION ESTIMATE LOWERED DUE TO FROST IN PARANA
Brazils wheat production for 2000/01 is forecast at 1.8 million tons, or 22 percent below last month and 28 percent below last years crop of 2.5 million tons, due to frost damage in July. Harvested area is estimated at 1.35 million hectares, up 14 percent from last year. Yield is currently forecast at 1.7 million tons per hectare, or about 19 percent below last years record yield.

Sep 29 2000 | PROSPECTS FOR THE 2000/01 BRAZILIAN SOYBEAN CROP
Prospects for the 2000/01 soybean crop in Brazil are very favorable. Rainfall conditions during September have been normal to above normal in many parts of Brazil. Soybean crop production is forecast at the trend value of 32.8 million metric tons, or about 4 percent above last year. Soybean production could go higher if rainfall conditions during planting remain favorable. Harvested area is currently forecast at 13.4 million hectares, or about 1 percent over last year, with a yield of 2.45 metric tons per hectare. Prior to planting, farmers in Brazil pay close attention to soybean prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Relatively higher soybean prices during August and early September 2000 encouraged many farmers to execute forward contracts in an effort to finance their planting operations. Since then soybean prices have declined through September 18th, but are once again beginning to rally. On the other hand, domestic corn prices in Brazil are currently extremely favorable due to last years drought, and the adverse impact of the freeze on the Safriha or second corn crop. The Brazilian governments decision to restrict the import of GM corn helped boost the domestic price. Consequently, any soybean area increases in the Center-West states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias during the 2000/01 growing season are likely to be moderated by a shift from soybeans to corn by some farmers in the Southern states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

Nov 9 2000 | BRAZIL: RECENT RAINS ACCELERATE PLANTING OF 2000/01 SOYBEAN CROP
Brazils MY2000/01 soybean crop (October - December planting) is forecast at 34.5 million metric tons, up by about 3 percent from last month, and 6 percent above last years crop. Harvested area remains unchanged from last month at 13.4 million hectares. Yield is currently estimated at 2.58 tons per hectare (Fig. 1), which is slightly above the trend value, in response to a 34 percent increase in overall technological inputs (fertilizers, lime, pesticides). Preliminary reports on planting intentions by Safras & Mercado (Fig. 2) suggest that area decreases in the states of Parana (3.7%), Rio Grande do Sul (2.2%), and Santa Catarina (2.8%) are being offset by increases in Bahia (4.8%), Goias (1.4%), Minas Gerais (2.5%), Mato Grosso (2.6%), Mato Grosso do Sul (1.4%). Early indications are that farm inputs (fertilizers, lime, and pesticides) have gone up by about 34 percent this year due to increased availability of credit and better prices.

Dec 12 2000 | BRAZIL: RECORD 2000/01 COTTON CROP FORECAST
Widespread showers during the September to November period boosted soil moisture reserves and benefited cotton plantings. Brazil appears to be headed towards a record cotton crop, if normal weather conditions continue through the rest of the growing season.

Dec 20 2000 | Meat and Bone Meal Ban May Induce South American Soybean Planting
Will the European Unions ban on use of meat and bone meal affect soybean planting in South America this season? The answer to this question is not clear, but it seems that Brazil and Argentina may be able to increase plantings yet in 2000/01 to take advantage of increased demand for vegetable protein in the wake of the European Unions new restrictions. Though the European Commissions ban is for 6 months, it appears likely that restrictions on meat and bone meal feeding in the European Union will continue longer. The amount of meat and bone meal consumed in the European Union is about 2.5 million tons annually. This equates to 2.9 million tons of soybean meal or to 3.7 million tons of soybeans based on protein equivalency. To put this in context, Brazil is forecast to harvest 34.5 million tons of soybeans, harvested from 13.4 million hectares, while Argentina is forecast to harvest 23.5 million tons from 9.7 million hectares. Although soybean meal is expected to be the main beneficiary of the meat and bone meal ban; corn gluten, field peas, rapeseed meal, sunflowerseed meal, and higher protein feed grains have all been mentioned as substitutes.

Mar 12 2001 | BRAZIL: AGRICULTURAL EXPANSION AREA TRIP REPORT
Analysts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture traveled to the agricultural expansion areas in Northeast and Center-West Brazil (Slide#1). Generally healthy soybean, corn, and cotton crops were observed, as well as robust expansion of land under cultivation.

Apr 11 2001 | BRAZIL'S HAT TRICK: PRODUCING THREE RECORD CROPS IN ONE YEAR
A combination of increased area, higher technological inputs and generally very favorable weather resulted in record production of corn, soybeans, and cotton in Brazil in 2000/01

Oct 16 2001 | Brazil Soybean Plantings Expected To Rise Substantially in 2001/02
The 2001/02 summer planting season is getting underway in Brazil. Currency and commodity market conditions heavily favor soybean cultivation.Competitor crops of corn and cotton are forecast to suffer significant declines in sown acreage and production as a result of growers surging interest in soybeans (see graph 1). Last year at this time, farmers were planting record areas to each of the primary summer crops of soybeans, corn, and cotton. Ideal weather conditions across the country resulted in record yield and production for them all. Most importantly, corn production in 2000/01 increased roughly 10.0 million tons, swamping the domestic market and significantly driving down prices. Brazil typically requires substantial corn imports to satisfy domestic demand in the hog and poultry industries. However, last year Brazil produced a record 3.0-million-ton-exportable surplus. In addition, record cotton production in 2000/01 reduced the countrys need for imports by 61 percent compared to 1999/00, while record soybean production lead to record bean exports. Soybean exports in 2000/01 rose more than 34 percent compared to 1999/00 (see graph 2).

Nov 9 2001 | Brazil: Dry Weather Promotes Accelerated Soybean Planting
Brazil experienced a drier start to the 2001/02 summer growing season than last year, with moderate showers falling primarily in the far southern and northwestern states during the July-September pre-planting period. Overall national rainfall was below normal, and much below levels received in 2000/01. The primary exception was the state of Matto Grosso, where spring rainfall was above normal and much above 2000/01. A return to normal seasonal rainfall conditions is now required across the bulk of country to guarantee favorable growing conditions for the newly sown 2001/02 soybean crop.

Jan 14 2002 | Brazil: Ideal Conditions Underpin
During 2001, the Brazilian Real depreciated significantly against the U.S. dollar, substantially enhancing the value of exported agricultural commodities traded in the international market for dollars. The Reals devaluation coincided with record 2000/01 Brazilian production of soybeans, corn, and cotton. This resulted in the benefits of the currencys decline going largely to soybean producers. Brazilian farmers cultivate soybeans primarily for the export market, while corn and cotton crops are primarily consumed in the domestic market. During the main 2000/01 March-October marketing period for these commodities, the Real depreciated 20-30 percent against the dollar, significantly boosting cash returns for exported products like soybeans while providing no advantage to commodities sold into the domestic market. Soybean producers reaped disproportionately favorable profits as the dollar strengthened, selling a bumper crop into the export market at a time of strong international demand. At the same time, producers of corn and cotton experienced declining prices for their crops in the local market as record production exceeded domestic demand. Ultimately, this experience would skew producer preferences in the new year, and set the stage for a significant shift in acreage away from less lucrative agricultural commodities.

Feb 4 2002 | Brazil: Corn Outlook Favorable Despite Summer Drought
Brazilian farmers acted decisively in 2001/02, significantly reducing acreage planted to corn in the main summer growing season. Government planting surveys indicate that summer corn area declined approximately 11 percent, as growers shifted land into more lucrative alternative crops including soybeans, rice, and black beans. The reduction in national corn area is expected to result in a year-to-year decline in corn production of more than 5.0 million tons. USDA currently forecasts 2001/02 corn area at 12.8 million hectares, down 0.77 million or 6 percent from last year. Brazils 2001/02 corn production is currently estimated at 36.0 million tons, down 5.5 million or 13 percent from last years record harvest.

May 13 2002 | Brazil: 2001/02 Post-Harvest Soybean Seasonal Review
As harvest operations come to a close in southern Brazil, it is apparent that a remarkable soybean growing season has just been completed. Market observers are used to stories of record crops in the vast farming belt of central and southern Brazil, but this year proved unique in the degree to which soybean acreage expanded. Farmers heeded strong market signals favoring export-oriented soybeans and planted record crop acreage, reallocating land resources away from competing summer corn and cotton production. Total national soybean area is estimated to have surged by an unprecedented 2.0 million hectares, up 14 percent compared to the previous years record level. USDA currently forecasts 2001/02 soybean area at a record 15.9 million hectares, while soybean production is estimated at a record 43.5 million tons. National crop yield, however, is forecast slightly down from last year, owing to the effects of drought in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina.

May 14 2002 | Brazil: Corn Deficit May Spur
Brazilian farmers acted decisively in 2001/02, significantly reducing acreage planted to corn in the main summer growing season, in favor of alternative crops. Government surveys indicated that summer corn area declined approximately 1.3 million hectares or 13 percent, as growers shifted land into more lucrative crops, including soybeans, rice, and black beans. The reduction in overall national corn area, coupled with drought-affected crop yields in both summer and winter seasons is expected to result in a year-to-year decline in corn production of 6.5 million tons. USDA currently forecasts 2001/02 corn area and production at 12.0 million hectares and 35.0 million tons, respectively.

May 22 2002 | Brazil: Torrential Rains End Drought in Key Southern States
The primary winter crop production region in southern Brazil received unusually heavy showers over the past few days, with torrential rains swamping fields of winter corn and wheat in parts of Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina. Well above normal rainfall fell over the weekend as a cold front moved eastward through the region from Paraguay, bringing a dramatic end to persistent drought which had plagued the region since March. Locations in western Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul recorded 200-300 millimeters (8-12 inches) of rain in just a couple of days, while locations in Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina recorded 80-150 millimeters ( 3-6 inches).

Jun 12 2002 | Brazil: 2002/03 Wheat Situation Update
Wheat cultivation in Brazil is highly concentrated in a few traditional southern farming states, where the combination of relatively mild winter temperatures and reliable rainfall allow it to be grown. The vast bulk of the crop is grown in two states, namely Parana and Rio Grande do Sul, which account for roughly 92 percent of total national area and production. Historically, wheat cultivation has experienced cycles of significant expansion and contraction, as government policy and support for the industry has fluctuated. The most notable of these cycles has been the extended phase of overall decline that began in 1987 and ended in 2000, caused by the cessation of government intervention (credit, subsidies, investment) and the eventual privatization of the wheat industry. Wheat area fell from nearly 4.0 million hectares in 1986/87 to a low of 1.0 million in 1995/96, or a reduction of 75 percent. Similarly, wheat production during this period plummeted by a factor of 75 percent, falling from 6.1 million tons in 1986/87 to 1.5 million in 1995/96. Wheat yields, however, after initially falling in the early 1990s have been trending upward, compensating to some degree for the extreme loss in acreage. Total production in the later years of this cycle averaged between 1.5 and 2.5 million tons.

Oct 24 2002 | Brazil: 2002/03 Wheat Situation Review
Wheat cultivation in Brazil is highly concentrated in a few traditional southern states which enjoy a combination of relatively mild winter temperatures and reliable rainfall allow. The bulk of the crop is grown in Parana and Rio Grande do Sul, which account for roughly 90 percent of total national area and production. Growers were poised to expand crop area and benefit from strongly rising domestic grain prices as the 2002/03 growing season got underway in May. Timely rains ensured that the bulk of the crop was sown within the normal planting window, and that soil moisture supplies were adequate to help establish the crop. Generally supportive showers were received throughout the winter growing season, leading most observers to expect crop yields and production would rise well above last year's level. However, Brazils wheat crop is subject to periodic frost episodes, and this year the outbreaks occurred when crops were in sensitive reproductive growth phases. USDA currently forecasts 2002/03 wheat area at 1.85 million hectares, up 0.125 million or 7 percent from last year. Wheat production is estimated at 3.3 million tons, down 0.4 million or 11 percent from last month, but up 0.05 million or 2 percent from last years harvest. Wheat yields are forecast at 1.78 tons per hectare, down 4 percent from last month and slightly below the near-record yields achieved last season.

Nov 12 2002 | Brazil: Corn Acreage Declines in Face of Soybean Juggernaut
Brazilian farmers acted decisively last year, reducing acreage planted to corn in the main summer growing season by 1.3 million hectares or 12 percent in order to expand soybean cultivation. In 2002/03 they are poised to continue this trend by sowing significantly more soybeans at the expense of summer corn. This years summer corn acreage is forecast to fall 6 percent to a historically low level of 8.7 million hectares (the lowest level in the past 37 years). The main factor contributing to the significant decline in summer corn plantings in the past 2 years is the dramatically depreciating Brazilian currency, the Real. It has lost approximately 60 percent of its value versus the US dollar in the past 2 years, dramatically inflating cash returns for exported products like soybeans while providing little to no advantage to commodities sold into the domestic market such as corn. Farmers have responded by allocating greater land resources toward the crop with the strongest financial returns, greatest liquidity, and the least risk, namely soybeans. Should current forecasts prove accurate, summer corn area will have declined 1.8 million hectares or 18 percent since 2000/01 while soybean area increased 4.1 million hectares or 29 percent. USDA currently estimates Brazils 2002/03 total corn production at 35.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or 5 percent from last month and down 2 percent from last years crop. Harvested area is estimated at 11.8 million hectares, down 0.6 million from last month and down 2 percent from last year.

Nov 12 2002 | Brazil: Surging Soybean Cultivation Continues
Farmers are expected to significantly increase soybean acreage in Brazil again this season, just as a global oilseed shortage and a strongly depreciating local currency fuel a potential boom in profits. As the 2002/03 planting season gets underway, a more advantageous setting could hardly be imagined for Brazilian soybean growers. The Brazilian Real has depreciated about 40 percent against the US dollar this year, following a 20-percent decline in 2001. The weakening currency has substantially enhanced the value of export commodities such as soybeans during the past 2 years, and is catalyzing an unprecedented surge in soybean cultivation across the country. Total soybean area increased 2.4 million hectares or 17 percent last year, and is forecast to rise an additional 1.65 million or 10 percent this season. This unprecedented 2-year expansion is roughly equal to Iowa's entire soybean acreage. Strong international soybean prices and a weak local currency have already led to record sales of the bumper 2002/03 crop, with Safras & Mercado reporting in November that forward sales had reached 38 percent of total national production, or approximately 19.0 million tons. This compares to a normal rate of sales at this time of year of roughly 12 percent. USDA currently estimates 2002/03 soybean area at a record 18.0 million hectares, up 0.5 million from last month and up 1.65 million from last year. Brazils 2002/03 soybean production is estimated at a record 49.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up 5.5 million or 13 percent from last years bumper harvest.

Feb 12 2003 | Brazil: Higher Yields Propel Soybean Crop Upwards
Brazilian farmers are poised to reap their fourth record harvest in succession, as ample rainfall and high fertilizer usage propels potential crop yields higher. USDA currently estimates 2002/03 soybean production at a record 51.0 million tons, up 2.0 million from last month and up 7.5 million or 17 percent from last years harvest. The rainfall pattern during the soybean crops vegetative and reproductive growth periods (Nov-Jan) has been nearly ideal in virtually all primary growing regions. In addition, soil moisture levels have been adequate to excellent for the entire post-planting season throughout Brazil, enabling the crop to grow without significant periods of stress. USDA is currently forecasting 2002/03 national soybean yield at a record 2.83 tons per hectare, up roughly 6.5 percent from last year, and 1 percent above the previous record level set in 2000/01.

Nov 13 2003 | Brazil: Gearing-Up for a Potentially Record-Breaking Soybean Season
As soybean planting operations accelerate across Brazil in November, there is a sense that this is going to be another record breaking season. This review provides more background on the latest USDA official estimates, released November 12, 2003.

Jan 13 2004 | The Amazon: Brazils Final Soybean Frontier
The vast and remote Brazilian territory described as the Legal Amazon encompasses over five million square kilometers, or nearly 60 percent of the nations total land area. It is a region of global environmental importance with uniquely diverse and invaluable natural ecosystems, including one of the worlds largest tropical rainforests and extensive savannahs called Cerrado. It is also home to a significant and growing portion of Brazils agricultural economy, including 31 percent of the nations pasture, 30 percent of its beef cattle herd, 21 percent of its total agricultural land, and 27 percent of its cultivated soybean acreage. Despite its remote location and the relative lack of physical and economic development, the Amazon region is already an important agricultural zone in Brazil. As a follow-up to our earlier investigations concerning the outlook for agricultural expansion, (http://www.fas.usda.gov/pecad2/highlights/2003/01/Ag_expansion/index.htm), USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has been evaluating the status of agriculture in the remote frontiers of the Legal Amazon to help determine the potential for soybean cultivation in the region.

Aug 16 2004 | Brazil: Soybean Expansion Expected to Continue in 2004/05
Brazilian farmers have increased soybean area over the past 5 years in an unprecedented historical expansion, with total national acreage rising by 65 percent during the period. USDA expects this growth phase to continue in 2004/05, though at a slightly reduced level from last year. In 2003/04 soybean area grew by nearly 3.0 million hectares, whereas USDA expects sown area to rise by approximately 2.2 million this year. The vast majority of the recent soybean expansion has occurred through the conversion of existing pastures that are prevalent throughout Brazil, as well as the opening of virgin grasslands called Cerrado. High relative profits from soybeans in recent years and strong international demand for Brazils soybean exports have fueled the expansion. Brazilian oilseed industry officials and traders report that the sizable profits earned from recent harvests have been directed toward the acquisition of new land and equipment, allowing farmers to increase both their scale and efficiency.

Nov 22 2004 | Brazil: 2004/05 Soybean Planting Progress Update
With the start of the 2004 summer rainy season in October, planting operations for the 2004/05 soybean crop began in earnest. The typical planting window in Brazil is lengthy, stretching from October through December. Soybean varieties that have varying maturation periods are available for all areas, enabling farmers to stagger planting and harvest operations and effectively lessen the risk of adverse climatic conditions. That being said, it can be advantageous to plant exceptionally early, thus ensuring an early harvest and the potential to plant a second crop late in the rainy season while rainfall and soil moisture reserves are still high. Much of the country has a distinctly dry winter season, which limits agricultural activities (the major exceptions being the traditional southern states from Sao Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul).

Mar 31 2005 | Brazil: Farmers Are Faced With Tough Decisions in Rio Grande do Sul
The state of Rio Grande do Sul has the fourth largest per capita income in Brazil, which amounts to approximately 4,500 U.S. dollars per inhabitant. This state of 10 million people is richly diverse with ethnic backgrounds from Portugal, Spain, Africa, Germany, Italy and Poland, that now constitute the contemporary gaucho (the typical ranchers and farmers that colonized the state).

Mar 10 2005 | Brazil: 2004/05 Crop Situation Update
Soybean and corn estimates fall in response to drought. The USDA currently estimates Brazil's soybean production in 2004/05 at a record 59.0 million tons, down 4.0 million from last month owing to worsening drought conditions in southern producing states.


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