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May 13, 2016

Brazil's Cotton Production to Decline 7.8% and Probably More

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

In their May Crop Report, Conab is estimating that the Brazilian cotton acreage at 960,400 hectares which is down 1.6% compared to the year earlier. They are estimating a nationwide cotton fiber yield of 1,501 kg/ha for a total production of 1.44 million tons, which is down 7.8% compared to the 1.56 million tons produced last year.

The state of Mato Grosso is the largest cotton producing state in Brazil and the cotton acreage in the state is estimated at 597,600 hectares or up 6.2% compared to last year. The yields are expected to be down 2.8% compared to last year for a total production estimated at 951,400 tons or up 3.2% compared to last year. The current weather in Mato Grosso is very dry, so the cotton production estimates for the state could move lower in subsequent reports.

The big change this year in cotton production will be in the state of Bahia, which is the second leading cotton producing state in Brazil. Conab estimates that the cotton acreage in Bahia is 240,600 hectares or down 14% from last year's acreage of 281,000 hectares. The cotton fiber yield in Bahia is estimated at 1,265 kg/ha, which is down 18.3% from the yield of 1,546 kg/ha registered last year. The total production in Bahia is estimated at 303,800 tons or down 30.1% compared to the 434,600 tons produced last year.

As poor as these estimates are for the state of Bahia, they are probably still too high due to the hot and dry conditions that have impacted the state since February. Unfortunately, the forecast is calling for very little rainfall in the state for the foreseeable future. Bottom line - the current estimate for the Brazilian cotton crop could decline further in subsequent reports.