Opinion – Shuttle: 2023 starts with record cereal exports


The Lula government begins with record exports of various agricultural products. Good for trade balance revenues, but not so much for domestic consumers.

Corn exports totaled 6.35 million tons last month, a volume never reached before in this period of the year.

The highest level until then had been the 4.4 million tons of January 2016, the year in which the country experienced difficulties in internal supply. Revenue obtained last month from cereal exports reached US$ 1.79 billion.

With data from January, exports for the 2022/23 harvest (from February 2022 to January 2023) totaled 47 million tons, above the record of 41 million in 2018/19.

The country also starts with intense exports of wheat. Last month’s volume reached 562 thousand tons, close to the January 2022 record.

Last year, Brazil exported a record 3.1 million tons of cereal, placing it among the ten main world exporters. It is good to remember that the country is extremely dependent on imports, mainly the Argentine product.

Brazil also placed 72.2 thousand tons of paddy rice on the foreign market in January. Exports, high, occur in a period between harvests and internal high prices.

Sugar sales also had a good evolution compared to January 2022, with an increase of 11%, according to data released this Wednesday (1st) by Secex (Secretary of Foreign Trade).

Meats, which generated US$ 26 billion in 2022, start 2023 with good performance. Current prices per ton on the foreign market still exceed those of January 2022, but are lower than those of the second half of last year.

The year begins, however, with higher volumes in exports. The sale of “in natura” beef reached 160.2 thousand tons, 11% more than in the same month of 2022. Poultry, totaling 389 thousand tons, surpasses it by 17%; and pork increased by 13%, totaling 80 thousand tons.

Imports lost pace this year. Wheat prices retreated 16%; fertilizers, 7.1%; and pesticides, 34%, compared to the same month of 2022.

The inputs sector, which had started last year with uncertainties in supply and high prices, mainly after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, lost strength at the beginning of the year.

Foreign purchases of fertilizer dropped to 2.4 million tons; and agrochemicals, to 24,500 last month.

Further Despite the drought in Rio Grande do Sul, StoneX raised the forecast for this year’s soybean harvest to 154.2 million tons. The rest of the country makes up for the drop in production in Rio Grande do Sul, according to the consultancy. If confirmed, the volume exceeds by 21% that of the previous year.

Optimism The scenario for corn is also very promising in the assessment of the consultancy, which expects 129.9 million tons of cereal in 2022/23. The summer crop stands at 27.6 million, and the winter crop rises to 100 million, predicts the consultancy.

datagro The consultancy revised soybean production to 152 million tons, slightly below the previous 152.2 million. Even with the reduction, the indication is of a record production.

Datagro 2 The consultancy also provided new numbers for corn. The summer crop was revised to 25.42 million tons; and the winter one, with a strong increase in area and considering a regular climate, to 102.52 million. The country’s total production has the potential for 127.94 million.

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