Agricultural production

August estimate previews record of 251.7 million metric tons in 2020

Section: Economic Statistics | Cristiane Crelier

September 10, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: September 10, 2020 04h59 PM

The 2020 soybean production keeps breaking records, accounting for an August estimate of 121 million metric tons - Photo: Jaelson Lucas AEN Paraná

The estimate for the national grain crop, in which a record was already expected, increased again in August and is expected to reach 251.7 million metric tons in 2020: 4.2% above the 2019 crop. Data are from the Systematic Survey of Agricultural Production (LSPA) of August, released today (10) by the IBGE. In the year, it is expected that soybeans and coffee reach their highest production levels in the IBGE time series.

Soybean production should total 121 million metric tons, which represents an increase of 6.6% in relation to the previous year's crop. “Lack of rainfall in Rio Grande do Sul between December and May affected a large part of the soybean producing areas and directly influenced the average yield of the grain, which fell by 40.7% in comparison with the state average of 2019. Even so, the production of legumes remains high in the country, with a highlight to Mato Grosso do Sul, which reported an increase of 7.5%”, comments Carlos Barradas, IBGE agricultural analyst.

As for coffee, a crop of 3.6 million metric tons is estimated, 19.4% more than last year. “Rainfall was abundant in the main producing states, and Brazil should reap an excellent harvest of coffea arabica, an important achievement for it to keep its hegemony in world production. The appreciated dollar and the good quality of production this year may enable the country to leverage coffee exportation and recover important markets”, comments Mr. Barradas.

Corn should not break any records in the time series. The last record broken was in 2019, but the estimate is very close to that (360 thousand metric tons less). Compared to July reports, the production estimate grew 0.4%, totaling 100 million metric tons. In the first crop, production was 2.1% higher than last year. For the second crop, the estimate of production increased 0.8% in relation to the previous month, although, in comparison with the previous year, it presented a decline of 1.2%.

“Despite the competition for the available planting areas with soybeans, which normally have higher profitability, the growing demand for the cereal kept prices at high levels, which contributed to increased investments in first-crop corn. The increase in meat exports has also contributed to boost the product's demand, since it is the main component of pig/hog and chicken feed,” says Mr. Barradas.

Soybeans, corn and rice are the three main products of the national grain harvest, which, together, represent 92.3% of the production estimate and account for 87.2% of the area to be harvested. For rice, an increase of 7.2% in production is expected, totaling 11 million metric tons of the cereal.

Another highlight worth mentioning is wheat, whose production estimate is 38.0% higher than last year, totaling 7.2 million metric tons, although it was reduced by 2.1% in relation to what was expected in the previous month. In 2020, the South region should account for 90.0% of the national wheat production.