South American Corn Crop Increasing

Beneficial rains, increased fertiliser usage and a pick up in biotech plantings will see increased corn production in South America this season. With Brazil and Argentina lying second and third behind the US in world corn export rankings, current USDA export forecasts from the duo might have to be raised.

In Brazil, biotech plantings are up more than fivefold from last season, this year accounting for 27% of the crop say the Brazilian Association of Seeds and Saplings.

CONAB forecast a 7.6% increase in Brazil’s average corn yield over last year, saying that the state of Parana could see yields rise to a record of more than 7 MT/hectare this year.

An increase in plantings of early fast maturing soybeans may lead to an increase in sowings of second crop corn, which goes into the ground in January and February.

Before that comes along, Brazil's main summer corn crop, which will start to get harvested next month, will total 32.3 MMT, say CONAB. That's around 4% down on last season, but comes despite a near 11% drop in planted area.

With the a record soybean harvest now already underway in Mato Grosso, there is talk of lack of storage being a big problem this year, with some grain elevators reportedly still 60-80% full of last year's so-called "safrinha" or second crop corn.

In Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange say that farmers there will produce 18 MMT of corn this year, with the government pegging the crop even higher at 18-20 MMT.

Both estimates are significantly higher than last season's drought-damaged crop of 12.6 MMT, and the current USDA figure of 15 MMT.