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May 6, 2016

Estimates for Brazil's Safrinha Corn Continue to Decline

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

Brazil's second crop of corn called the safrinha crop accounts for approximately two-thirds of Brazil's corn production. Late planting and hot and dry weather during the month of April has taken a toll on the crop that appears to be shrinking on a daily basis, especially in central Brazil.

In their April report, Conab estimated that the safrinha corn crop in Brazil would be 57.1 million tons and that the full-season corn crop would be 27.5 million tons. Conab is expected to lower their safrinha corn estimate next week when their May report is issued.

Reports continue to come in from across central Brazil detailing the extent of the losses for the safrinha corn. In the municipality of Querencia in eastern Mato Grosso, safrinha corn fields have gone 40 days without rain and farmers in the region are worried that as much as 70% of their anticipated safrinha corn yield may already be lost. Corn yields in the region generally average 90 to 100 sacks per hectare (83 to 92 bu/ac), but this year farmers are expecting yields in the range of 30-to 40 sacks per hectare (28 to 37 bu/ac)

In the municipality of Caarapo in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the safrinha corn has also gone approximately 40 days since the last rain. The corn yield last year in the region was approximately 85 sacks per hectare (78.5 bu/ac), but farmers this year are expecting a yield of 52 sacks per hectare (48 bu/ac). The forecast is calling for rainfall over the next few days, but the potential moisture would only help the later developing corn. Damage to the earlier planted corn is already locked in and additional rainfall will not reverse the losses.

While the yields in Caarapo are 40% below last year, the corn price is 100% higher than last year. Corn prices in the region are in the range of R$ 36 to R$ 37 per sack, which is basically double last year's price of R$ 15 to R$ 17 per sack.