December 14, 2004



Brazil's Soybean Production Forecast Raised


Brazilian soybean production will total 61.4 million metric tons in the current 2004-05 season (October-September). The figure is 23.3 percent higher than the 49.8 million tons forecast last season, according to the latest crop estimate released by the Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday.


The figure was refined from a forecast of 59.5 million to 60.8 million tons released in October but remains below most other estimates. Last week, the US Department of Agriculture forecast Brazilian output at 64.5 million tons for next season, while local agricultural consultants Safras e Mercado pegged the crop at 63.6 million bags.


Soybean planted area is expected to grow modestly this year, by about 5 percent, to 22.3 million hectares from 21.3 million hectares last year.


Grains, oilseed and cereal production in 2004-05 is generally expected to total 131.9 million tons. This figure is higher than the 129.9 million tons forecast in October and up sharply from 119.3 million tons last year. This jump is almost exclusively due to the growth in soybean planting.


Total crop planted area is expected to grow slightly to 48.3 million hectares, up from 47.5 million hectares last year.


Corn production is pegged at 43.1 million tons for the 2004-05 season (September-August), rising from 42.2 million tons last season on recovering yields. The estimate was refined from 42.7 million to 43.1 million tons forecast in October.


But low prices mean area will slip to 12.6 million to 12.7 million hectares, down from 12.8 million in 2003-04, said the report.


The main corn crop, which was planted between September and November, is pegged to reach 32.6 million tons, up from 31.6 million tons last year.


Local cotton production is seen falling to 1.33 million tons in 2004-05, sharply down from 2.04 million tons the year before.

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