Brazil headed for record corn imports

Getty/KoliadzynskaIryna Barge in water next to grain elevator
Brazil’s poor weather cut its leading corn state yields by nearly half. How will that impact U.S. grain prices?

As we have been reporting here in our past blogs, the corn is suffering big time with poor weather in Brazil. First drought, then frosts, many fields were not able to survive the harsh climate. In the first half of 2021, farmers faced the worst drought in 91 years, harming part of their second corn crop and reducing expectations for Brazilian exports.

Brazil’s Department of Rural Economy updated its estimations to the safrinha corn in Paraná State, one of the top producers of the grain and the one that was hit the most. Until now, a total of 6.1 million tons (240 million bushels of corn) is expected to be harvested, which represents a break of 58% compared to beginning of year estimates (and 50% in comparison to the 2019/2020 harvest). According to the Department, this difference of 8.5 million tons (334 million bushels of corn) is a record never reached before in the state history.

With that, Brazil’s imports of corn are on the rise. This year’s imports could reach 4 million tons (157 million bushels of corn) – or higher. “Brazil will most likely beat the volume of imports of the past 40 years,” says Carlos Cogo, specialist in agribusiness intelligence.

Soybean planting forecast

Brazil, the biggest soybean producer in the world, will start its next planting in September in the Midwest states like Mato Grosso. Until then, Brazil will most likely return to historically typical rains and weather. Models indicate a normal pattern of rain to the second half of September in the Mato Grosso region. In October, however, a short period of drought may be lurking, caused by a light La Niña.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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