Brazil is looking, once again, for a volume of 300 million tons of grain. Conab (National Supply Company) released, this Wednesday (24), an estimate of potential production of 308 million.
If this volume is confirmed, the country consolidates itself even more in the list of the main world producers of grains, alongside China, the United States and India.
Soybean and corn advance in 2023. Oilseed production is expected to rise to 150.4 million tons, 21% more than this year. The corn crop could reach 125.5 million, 9.4% more than in 2022.
The performance of the next Brazilian crop will depend, however, on the behavior of the weather. In the last two years, production forecasts have not been confirmed due to severe weather crises.
The Brazilian grain crop has always been based on soy, corn and rice, products that represent 92% of the total grain.
In this Wednesday’s estimates, Conab made forecasts for soybeans, corn, rice, beans and cotton. The company does not yet have specific estimates for wheat. In the current and next harvest, however, the cereal becomes more representative in the total production of grains. Production should be a record, close to 10 million tons.
The increase in wheat production is due to the growing investments made by Embrapa in the last decade. In addition to new varieties, the company’s research also focused on new areas, such as the cerrado, obtaining good adaptation and productivity in these regions over the last few years.
The increase in grain production in 2023 will occur not only because of the 2.5% increase in the area, but mainly because of the expected 11% increase in average crop productivity. This performance will depend on the weather.
In the 2021/22 harvest, the country sowed 73.8 million hectares with grain. In the period 2022/23 there will be 75.6 million.
Soybeans and corn are largely responsible for this increase. Good prices and external demand will lead domestic producers to increase their soybean area to 42.4 million hectares in the 2022/23 period; corn will be 22.1 million.
The area increase of these two cultures has been continuous. In the 2019/20 harvest, only 36.9 million hectares had been sown with the oilseed and 18.5 million with the cereal.
Brazil was already chasing the level of 300 million tons in recent harvests, but climate change frustrated that objective. This occurred mainly in the 2021/22 harvest.
Conab even forecast a volume of 291 million tons for the period, while market assessments indicated a potential exceeding 300 million.
Guilherme Bastos, secretary of Agricultural Policy at the Ministry of Agriculture, says that the country already had the potential for 300 million. This volume was not obtained, but with the 2 million hectares that will be added in the 2022/23 harvest, this objective can be achieved, according to the secretary.
In the 2020/21 period, the Brazilian grain crop was 20 million tons below the initially projected, due to a 23 million ton drop in corn production.
The safrinha, produced during the winter, was affected by intense drought and frost, reaching 60 million tons, well below the 83 million initially forecast.
In this crop, 2021/22, it was the turn of soybean production to be well below expectations. Conab even predicted a harvest of 143 million tons in December last year, but revised that number to 124 million. A severe drought, mainly in the South region, affected the oilseed’s productivity.
Conab’s data indicate, once again, a reduction in the planting area of basic products, such as rice and beans. Allan Silveira, the entity’s superintendent of Market Studies and Supply Management, says that, despite the reduction in area, supply will be adjusted to demand.
This area reduction is due to the lower profitability of these products, in relation to exportable products, such as soybeans and corn.
The cotton area grows again and will be 1.63 million hectares. Increases in area by 1.9% and productivity by 2.9% will raise cotton lint production to 2.9 million tons, forecasts Conab.
The evolution of production gives new impetus to exports in 2023. There will be 92 million tons of soy, 44.5 million of corn and 2 million of cotton lint, according to Silveira.
For Sergio De Zen, executive director of Agricultural Information and Agricultural Policies at Conab, these figures for agriculture show a very interesting business environment for the sector.
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