Brazil could see record 2019-20 soy, corn harvest if weather holds

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Brazil could see record corn and soy harvests in the 2019-20 season dependent on good weather, as farmers are expected to broaden plantings, Datagro Consultoria said on Wednesday.

Brazil, which is the world’s largest soy exporter and could become the biggest producer in the upcoming season, is expected to expand the soybean planted area by 2 percent to 36.8 million hectares, a record, Datagro Consultoria said.

That could result in production of 125 million to 126 million tonnes of the oilseeds, compared with 116.76 million tonnes during this year’s harvest, which was affected by drought. It would also allow Brazil to overtake the United States as the world’s top soy producer.

Corn planting in 2019-20 is expected to reach 18.1 million hectares, up 4 percent from the previous season, to give a total harvest of 104.28 million tonnes, compared with 100.02 million tonnes in the 2018-19 cycle, Datagro said.

The consultancy expects Brazil to export 78 million tonnes of soy during the 2019-20 cycle, compared with 71.7 million tonnes in the 2018-19 harvest. Brazil is seen exporting a record 40 million tonnes of corn in 2019, up from 25 million last year.

However, Datagro’s chief of grain, Flávio França Jr, said those expectations will rely heavily on the weather.

“In the last three years we have had a more neutral climate than anything else, weak El Niño or weak La Niña, and we have had two good years and this year has been bad,” he said. “You can’t accurately predict anything, but everything points to the fact that we are going to have a neutral climate in the South American crop.”

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