Conab slashes Brazil soybean output to 149.4M tonnes and corn to 113.6M tonnes

Brazil's food agency, Conab, has reduced its soybean and corn output forecasts due to adverse weather conditions impacting crop development

Brazilian food agency Conab slashed its soybean crop estimates once again to 149.4 million tonnes, a 3.8% drop from the previous report, and also reduced its corn output forecast by 3.3% to 113.6 million tonne in a monthly update published Thursday.

In January, Conab forecasted the soybean crop at 155.2 million tonnes, while corn output was estimated at 117.6 million tonnes.

The new estimates landed within the market estimates, which ranged from 147.4 -153 million tonnes for soybeans, but were lower than expected for corn, as the market participants projected then at 116.3 – 117.8 million tonnes.

“The weather in the main producing regions, especially for soybeans and summer crop corn, has been negatively affecting crops, and the delay in soybeans sowing is likely to have an impact on planting the second corn crop,” Conab said.

That said, the country’s total oilseeds and grain production dropped by 2.2% to 299.7 million tonnes, from last month’s 306.4 million tonne estimates.

The figure is 6.3% lower than the 319.8 million tonnes record crop harvested in 2022/23.

The country’s planted area was slightly reduced to 78.3 million tonnes from the 78.7 million hectares projected in January, a 0.6% monthly decline and 0.3% below the 78.5 million hectares sown in 2022/23.

Soybean

Brazil’s soybean output estimate is 3.4% lower than 2022/23’s 154.6 million tonnes record crop.

The figure dropped 7.8% when compared to the initial 162 million tonnes forecast.

“The delay in the start of the rains in the Center-west, Southeast and Matopiba regions, followed by irregular and poorly distributed rains, records of dry periods for more than 20 days, as well as high temperatures, are hurting crop development,” Conab said.

The country’s planted area projection dropped by 0.4% to 45 million hectares from last January’s 45.2 million hectare forecast.

Still, the sown area is 2.3% higher than the 44.1 million hectares from 2022/23.

Yield estimates were trimmed by 3.4% on the month to 3,314 kilos per hectare from the previous 3,431 kilos per hectare projection, a 5.5% year-over-year decline.

Conab trimmed Brazil’s 2024 soybean export estimates to 94.1 million tonnes from January’s 98.45 million tonnes forecast, which represents a 4.3% year-on-year drop.

Brazil’s 2024 soybean crushing estimates were also cut by 1 million tonnes to 53.3 million tonnes when compared to the previous report forecast.

Despite the reduction, the estimates remain above the 52.1 million tonnes crush from 2023.

Soybean meal production forecasts also declined to 41 million tonnes versus the 41.1 million tonnes projection from the January report.

In 2023, soybean meal output amounted to 40.6 million tonnes.

Soybean meal 2024 exports forecast remained unchanged at 21.5 million tonnes, down from 22.6 million tonnes in 2023.

Conab also kept its soybean oil output estimates unchanged at 10.7 million tonnes in 2024, versus last year’s 10.5 million tonnes.   

Soybean oil 2024 export estimates were also unchanged at 1.5 million tonnes while in 2023 shipments totaled 2.3 million tonnes.

Corn

Conab’s new estimates for Brazil’s corn crop output are 13.8% lower than last year’s 131.9 million tonnes record crop.

The summer crop production is now seen at 23.6 million mt, down 3.2% from January’s 24.38 million tonne forecast and 13.8% below the 27.37 million tonnes harvested in 2022/23.

“Summer corn crop, which accounts for 20.8% of total production, faced adverse situations such as high rainfall in the south of the country and low rainfall in the center-west, accompanied by high temperatures, among other factors”, Conab said.

Second crop safrinha production was also trimmed to 88 million mt, a 3.4% drop from the 91.2 million tonnes estimates from January.

That is a 13.9% decline when compared to the 102 million tonnes harvested in the last crop.

Brazil’s total corn crop area was cut by 2.7% to 20.4 million hectares from last month’s 21 million hectares estimates, an 8.2% drop from 2022/23’s 22.26 million ha.

The summer crop area was slightly reduced to 3.9 million ha, a 0.9% loss from the previous estimate, but down 11.5% from 2022/23’s 4.4 million ha.

The second corn crop safrinha is now seen at 15.8 million mt, a 3.3% decline from last month’s 16.4 million hectare forecast and 7.6% lower than the 17.2 million hectares sown in 2022/23.  

Brazilian 2024 corn export estimates were cut to 32 million tonnes from last month’s 35 million tonnes projection, compared to a record 55.5 million tonnes shipment in 2023. 

“That is explained not only by the update in the output estimates but is also influenced by the higher supply on the international market, amid the good North American harvest,” Conab said.


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