Jan. 15, 2018
In their latest monthly report, Conab increased their estimate of the 2017/18 Brazilian soybean crop by 1.2 million tons and they slightly increased their Brazilian corn estimate.
Brazilian Soybeans - Conab is now estimating the 2017/18 Brazilian soybean crop at 110.4 million tons which is 1.2 million tons more than last month's estimate (109.1 million tons). If realized, the 2017/18 crop would be 3.6 million tons lower than the 114.0 million tons produced last year (-3.2%). After a slow start, the rainy season has been beneficial for the soybeans since early November and as a result, Conab's soybean estimate could move higher in subsequent reports.
Conab estimates that Brazilian farmers increased their soybean acreage by 3.2% to 33.99 million hectares (83.95 million acres). The nationwide average soybean yield is now estimated at 3,156 kg/ha (45.7 bu/ac), which is 6.2% lower than last year's yield of 3,365 kg/ha (48.7 bu/ac). The lower yield is predicated on the delayed soybean planting that resulted from dry conditions in September and October. If the weather continues to be beneficial, their yield estimate could move higher.
Most of the soybeans in Brazil are setting pods and filling pods. Some of the earliest planted soybeans in Brazil have already reached maturity and there have been a few fields harvested in Mato Grosso. The main soybean harvest will begin in about two weeks.
Brazilian corn - The total 2017/18 Brazilian corn production is estimated at 92.3 million tons, which is slightly higher than last month. Conab has only conducted field surveys for the full-season corn crop, they have not yet conducted a field survey of the safrinha corn crop. Conab is estimating the full-season corn crop at 25.1 million tons, which would be down 5.2 million tons (-17.3%) from last year's production of 30.4 million tons. Most of the full-season corn is in the process of filling grain with a few fields already mature.
Overall, the full-season corn acreage declined 9.2% in Brazil to 4.97 million hectares (12.27 million acres) with the full-season corn acreage in southern Brazil declining 15.8%, while it increased 1.3% in north and northeastern Brazil. The state of Minas Gerais has the most full-season corn acreage at 785,700 hectares followed by Rio Grande do Sul with 728,400 hectares and Parana with 333,100 hectares. With the current estimate, the full-season corn crop would represent 27% of Brazil's total corn production.
For the safrinha corn production in Brazil, Conab has not yet conducted a field survey. They have carried forward the 12.10 million hectares (29.88 million acres) of safrinha corn production form the 2016/17 growing season. They are estimating that the safrinha corn yield will be down slightly from last year by 17 kg/ha (0.2 bu/ac). The 2017/18 safrinha corn production is estimated at 67.1 million tons, which is down slightly from the 67.3 million tons produced in 2016/17. With the current estimate, the safrinha corn crop would represent 73% of Brazil's total corn production.
Conab will release their first field-based survey of the safrinha corn crop in their February Crop Report. Most analysts in Brazil feel the safrinha corn acreage will decline from last year due to low corn prices and the potential for late planting caused by the delayed soybean harvest. They also feel the corn yields will be lower than last year also due to the delayed planting. Therefore, it is believed that Conab's Brazilian corn estimate will decline in subsequent reports.