April 8, 2020
ABPA says Brazil meat processors will need to import corn from May
Brazil-based meat lobby group ABPA said domestic prices for corn are reaching record high levels, causing the country's chicken and swine processors to look to import the commodity, reported Reuters.
Prices for corn reached 60 BRL (~US$11.49; 1 BRL = US$0.19) per 60kg bag as there are low stockpiles following record exports last year.
The meat processors are expected to import the corn from Paraguay and Argentina, which have historically supplied the commodity when Brazil has run short of supply.
Imports from the United States, the world's biggest corn producer, are unlikely as the BRL is weakening against the US$.
Francisco Turra, ABPA president said the meat lobby is monitoring the market and expects corn imports to be needed by May. This is because the first Brazilian corn harvest was low due to drought, pushing domestic prices to record highs.
Farmers in Brazil expect the second major corn harvest, accounting for 75% of its overall production, only in mid-June.
Brazil projects 100 million tonnes of total corn crop in 2020.
Turra said meatpackers based in southern Brazil will more likely opt to import corn from Paraguay and Argentina as prices are better compared to the region in the center-west. Plus, both Paraguay and Argentina's currencies have fallen against major currencies, making them attractive corn suppliers.
Turra said meatpackers based in northeast Brazil could purchase corn from the United States, but they have not done so yet.
According to government data, Brazil's corn imports in January and February 2020 increased 235% to 283,730 tonnes, with the highest supplier being Paraguay.
Brazil-based JBS SA confirmed it had purchased 100,000 tonnes of corn from Argentina slated for delivery in May.