Brazil losing corn crown but remains large supplier, Cargill says

US expected to surpass Brazil in export volume
calendar icon 9 May 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazil will remain a competitive corn supplier in global markets thanks to yet another year of abundant production, Reuters reported, citing Paulo Sousa, chief executive of grain trader Cargill in the country. 

However, the country will not maintain its position as the world's largest exporter, which it won last year after briefly overtaking the United States, he said.

Brazil is currently cultivating the "safrinha" corn, which is planted after soybeans are harvested in the same areas and represents 70%-80% of national output, depending on the year.

Sousa said Brazil's safrinha corn was looking very good, naming several large Brazilian growing regions where the crop was developing well.

Brazil's total corn production will fall by nearly 21 million tons this season, though it is still expected to be large compared with what other countries are capable of producing, according to data from national crop agency Conab.

Safrinha corn is mainly exported in the second half and competes directly with US corn on global markets.

According to Conab, Brazil will export 31 million metric tons of corn in the 2023/2024 season, much lower than in the previous one, when exports totaled nearly 55 million tons, setting a record.

Last month, Conab pegged total national corn output at 111 million tons for the current cycle, 16% below the previous season as farmers reduced plantings for first corn and safrinha corn.

The USDA forecasts the US will export 53.34 million tons of corn in the 2023/24 cycle. It says Brazil will export 52 million tons of corn in the same period.

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