November 7, 2008


Brazil's 2008-09 soy crop seen between 58.3 million to 59.3 million; corn put at 55.2 million tonnes



Brazil should harvest between 58.3 million and 59.3 million metric tonnes of soy in the 2008-09 crop, the National Commodities Supply Corp, or Conab, said Thursday (November 6).


Conab's second estimate for the season reflects data collected since the start of the global credit crisis.


The number is slightly below Conab's first estimate on October 8 that put the soy crop at between 60 million tonnes and 61.2 million tonnes for 2008-09 compared to 60 million tonnes from the 2007-08 soy crop.


Brazilian soy farmers have been complaining that high costs for fertilizers and low soy prices have been eating into their margins, which is restraining many from planting more soy or using more fertilizer this year.


Planted area is seen between 21.06 million hectares and 21.4 million hectares - between down 1.2 percent or up 0.4 percent - compared to 21.3 million hectares in the 2007-08 season, Conab said.


Farmers have recently started to plant the new 2008-09 soy crop, which will be harvested in March.


Conab's estimate is slightly below local agribusiness consultancy Celeres, which said recently the total soy output should be 61.6 million tonnes and planted area should be 21.9 million hectares in 2008-09.


Brazil is the world's No. 2 soy producer behind the US. 


On the other hand, Conab estimated Brazil should produce between 54.3 million and 55.2 million tonnes of corn.


Total production is seen falling as much as 7.3 percent from the 2007-08 season.


Conab's second crop estimate is below its Oct.8 estimate of between 55 million and 55.9 million tonnes of corn in 2008-09.


Planted area should be between 14.4 million and 14.6 million hectares, said Conab.


Since the cost of producing corn is higher than soy, many farmers are expected to switch some of their corn to soy in the first crop.


Brazil plants corn in the spring and again in the fall for winter harvest.


Corn is Brazil's No. 2 crop behind soy, of which Brazil is the world's second largest producer behind the US.

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