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Brazil Harvests Record Second Corn Crop
USAgNet - 06/09/2023

Brazilian farmers have begun harvesting the second crop of corn - known as "safrinha" - and expect production to reach 4 billion bushels (102 million metric tons), which would be a record and should drive the recovery of world ending stocks. The record crop, combined with price declines in the international market, has resulted in a 30% decline in the price of corn in the Brazilian market in recent months.

Crop sales, for both the 2022/23 soybean and corn crops, have occurred at a relatively slow pace, lagging historical levels for the same time period. The combination of lower corn prices and a shortage of storage capacity in Brazil will be issues to monitor closely as the harvest continues to advance into June and July, according to the University of Illinois' Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

Brazil's second-crop corn production for the current season is projected to be 4,030 million bushels, an 11% increase over the previous year, according to data from Agroconsult, a private Brazilian consultancy. In the last estimate made in March, the projection was for a harvest of 3,826 million bushels. The higher projection has resulted from favorable weather. The area in Brazil planted to corn remained the same as last year - about 41 million acres (see Figure 1) - but expected corn yields have increased.

Good weather has fostered high yields, which are expected to reach 97.6 bushels per acre, 11% higher than last crop season. Although the second corn crop has become Brazil's primary corn crop and an increasing share of world corn production, safrinha yields are more variable than Brazil's first crop. Yields for the last five harvested crops (2017/18 - 2021/22), for example, averaged 92 bushels per acre in the first crop and 80 bushels per acre in the second crop, according to data from Conab.

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