April 1, 2020
Brazil's Parana expects more soy, less corn crops
Brazil's Parana raised its forecast for the current 2019-20 soybean crop to a record of over 20 million tonnes, while its estimate for the winter corn crop (safrinha) fell on a lack of recent rainfall stressing plantations in some areas.
The southern state of Parana is poised to harvest 20.7 million tonnes of the oilseed this season, slightly higher than February's estimate (20.4 million tonnes) and a 28% jump over the 2018-29 cycle, when a drought impacted the crop, Parana's Department of Rural Economics (Deral-PR) said.
So far, 92% of the 5.5 million hectares sowed with soybean in the state has been harvested.
Deral-PR said 54% of the current production has already been traded. A year ago, 35% of the 2018-19 harvest had been traded, while the three-year average for this time of year is 39%. Farmers took advantage of higher prices and attractive currency exchange rates this year to hedge the most they could of their harvest.
Parana's winter corn crop is pegged at 12 million tonnes, lower in comparison to both February's projection (12.4 million tonnes) and the 13.3 million tonnes in the last cycle. Local farmers have virtually completed the 2019-20 planting, seen at 2.2 million hectares, but "occasional situations such as the absence of rain for several days caused some apprehension," Deral-PR said.
The safrinha is the main corn crop in Parana. Sowed after the soybean harvest, its development is usually more susceptible to weather risks as it occurs during drier months. The state also plants summer corn, whose production is expected to increase by 9% on-year to 3.5 million tonnes.
Deral-PR also released its first estimate for the 2020 wheat crop for Parana, Brazil's top producer of the cereal. Local farmers are expected to plant 1.1 million hectares, which is down by 7% from last year, and harvest 3.5 million tonnes, a 63% increase.