Brazil cuts 2017-18 corn crop estimate to 87.28 million mt

Brazil will harvest 87.28 million mt of corn in the 2017-18 season, federal government crop agency Conab said Thursday in a monthly report, down from 88 million mt in its February report.
The 2016-17 harvest was 97.84 million mt.
Brazil produces two corn crops per year. The first crop is planted in summer at the same time as the soybean crop, while the second, or winter, crop is planted in the same areas as soybeans immediately after the oilseeds are harvested.
For the first corn crop, Conab raised its projection to 25.12 million mt, from 24.75 million mt in February. It was 30.46 million mt in 2016-17.
For the second corn crop, currently being planted, Conab cut the projected production to 62.16 million mt, from 63.26 million mt in February due to a smaller than expected planted area and lower yields.
Conab said delays in soybean harvest were affecting corn planting in some regions. In Mato Grosso state, for example, 20% of the second corn crop will be planted after the end of the ideal weather window.
Lower investments in technology, like high yield seeds and larger volumes of fertilizers, should also impact corn productivity in various regions, the agency said.
Brazil produced 67.38 million mt of corn in the second crop in 2016-17.
Conab said it expected the 2017-18 soybean crop to reach 113.02 million mt, up from 111.56 million mt forecast in February. It would still be below 2016-17's record 114.08 million mt.
The figures for soybeans are conservative compared with many private analysts which already peg Brazilian soybean crop above 117 million mt, given the area increased year on year and current yields were above initial expectations.

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