Agricultural production

May estimate expects record harvest of 262.8 million tonnes in 2021

Section: Economic Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral e Caio Belandi

June 10, 2021 09h00 AM | Last Updated: June 11, 2021 11h30 AM


Decline in the output of the second crop of corn was the major factor for the drop in the May´s estimate - Photo: AgroBrazil

According to the May´s estimate of the Systematic Survey of Agricultural Production - LSPA, released today (10) by the IBGE, the Brazilian harvest of cereals and legumes should hit a record of 262.8 million tonnes in 2021. The result brought the second consecutive drop in the monthly estimate this year. Even so, the output in 2021 should be 3.4% higher than last year, which hit 254.1 million tonnes.

It dropped 1.7 million tonnes (-0.6%) in relation to the April´s estimate. According to Carlos Barradas, an analyst of the survey, the retraction is due to the delay in the harvesting of soybeans, which reduced the planting window of corn. That change left the crops more reliant on the climate and, due to the low rainfall in the producing states, the output was jeopardized.

“That delay ended up affecting the second crop of corn, which comes right after the harvesting of soybeans. So that drop can be explained by the planting out of season of a good part of the crops and by the lack of rainfall, mainly in Paraná and Mato Grosso,” says the researcher.

Today, the second crop of corn corresponds to 73.9% of the total production of the grain. In May, the estimated output of that harvest dropped 4.4% over April, a decline of 3.4 million tonnes. It is a drop of 4.3% compared with what was produced in May last year.

Adding the two harvests, corn should reach the output of 99.2 million tonnes, a drop of 3.2% compared with the April´s estimate. The total production should also be 3.9% lower than that in the last year, despite the increases of 6.0% in the planted area and of 6.2% in the area to be harvested.

Corn is one of the three major products in the group of grains, cereals and legumes. The other two are rice and soybeans. Together, they represent 92.6% of the production and account for 87.7% of the area to be harvested. Soybeans is the crop with the largest share in that volume of output. Its harvest should be a record this year, reaching 132.9 million tonnes. It is an increase of 9.4% over the 2020 output, which represents more 11.4 million tonnes.  It also increased 0.7% compared with the April´s estimate.

“Both the total output of grains, of 262.8 million tonnes, and the output of soybeans, of 132.9 million, are record in the LSPA´s time series. That increase in the production of soybeans is mainly due to the price of the grain in the international market, which is good. Therefore, producers increased the planting areas,” explains Barradas.

Another production estimate that grew in relation to April was that of rice (2.4%), which should hit 11.4 million tonnes. According to the LSPA´s analyst, that production will be sufficient to supply the domestic market. In 2020, the prices of the cereal rose, due to the increase in the domestic consumption and to the growth in the exports. This year, the output of rice should be 2.8% higher than last year.

“As most of the rice produced in Brazil is irrigated, it does not depend so much on the climate. Yet, it should not rain during harvesting in order to not jeopardize the mechanical work. That is what happened in Rio Grande do Sul, which is responsible for most (70.2%) of the Brazilian production of this grain,” assesses the researcher.

He highlights that the output of beans, estimated at 2.9 million tonnes, should also supply the domestic consumption. The estimate is 2.3% lower than that of April, but it stays very close to that produced last year, with a retraction of 577 tonnes.

The production estimate of cotton also decreased in relation to the forecast last month. In May, it was 5.7 million tonnes (-3.4%). The production estimate of coffee grew 4.3% over April. Compared with what was produced in 2020, the drop is of 21.0%.

In Brazil, two species of coffee are harvested. The production of coffea arabica should hit 2.0 million tonnes, a growth of 6.0% in relation to the previous month and a decline of 29.3% against with the total produced in 2020.

“That decline is due to the negative biennial period of the harvest in 2021. Coffee is a crop that produces a lot in a year and less in the following year. We had a record in the output of coffea arabica in 2020, the largest one in the time series of the survey. And as the production was large last year, the drop was already expected this year,” says him.

The output of coffea canephora, also known as conillon, should add up to 919.8 thousand tonnes, an increase of 0.9% over the April´s forecast and of 6.3% in relation to 2020.

Production in the Central-West should fall 1.8% in 2021

Four out of five Major Regions increased their production estimates in relation to the 2020 harvest: South (10.8%), Southeast (6.0%), Northeast (5.3%) and North (1.4%). The Central-West, which accounts for 45.5% of the national output of grains, legumes and oilseeds, should reduce the total amount produced by 1.8%. The share in the production has the following distribution among the other regions: South (30.8%), Southeast (10.4%), Northeast (9.1%) and North (4.2%).

Mato Grosso leads the national production of grains with a share of 26.9%, followed by Paraná (14.6%), Rio Grande do Sul (13.9%), Goiás (9.8%), Mato Grosso do Sul (8.4%) and Minas Gerais (6.5%). These states together accounted for 80.1% of the national forecast.

Stock capacity changes -0.1% in the second quarter of 2020

Also released today (10) by the IBGE, the Survey of Stocks pointed out a drop of 0.1% in the total storage capacity available in Brazil in the second semester of 2020 over the previous semester, reaching 176.3 million tonnes. Mato Grosso remains with the largest storage capacity in Brazil, with 43.6 million tonnes. It was followed by Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná, with 32.7 and 32.1 million tonnes, respectively.

Concerning the types of storage, the survey showed that silos still prevail, having reached 87.3 million tonnes (49.5% of the total storage capacity). They are followed by automated and bulk warehouses, which hit 66.1 million tonnes of storage capacity, and conventional, temporary and inflatable warehouses, with 22.9 million tonnes.

About the LSPA

Implemented in November 1972 aiming at meeting the demand of users for short-term statistical information, the LSPA provides estimates of planted area, harvested area, amount produced and average yield of products selected based on criteria of social and economic importance to Brazil. It not only follows up each crop investigated in the calendar year of reference, from the intention to plant up to the end of the harvest, yet also the forecast of the harvest in the coming year, for which the months of October, November and December are surveyed. Please access the data on Sidra.

About the Survey of Stocks

Encompassing the entire country, the survey aims at providing statistical information on the volume and spatial distribution of stocks of basic agricultural products, as well as on the units where they are stored. The data raised by the Survey of Stocks are key to public and private managers and are related to food security issues. The information is provided by the owner, skilled personnel or accountant of the establishment surveyed and it is answered face-to-face, by telephone, email or online questionnaire. The results are released on a semester basis.