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Production of soybeans falls by 4.56% in 2004, but Brazil is still the second major world producer of this oilseed

December 06, 2005 09h00 AM | Last Updated: October 29, 2019 03h09 PM

In 2004, the national production of soybeans totaled 49,549,941 tons – fall of 4.56% in relation to 2003 (51,919,440 tons, as a consequence of unfavorable climatic conditions at the end of the year.

In 2004, the national production of soybeans totaled 49,549,941 tons – fall of 4.56% in relation to 2003 (51,919,440 tons, as a consequence of unfavorable climatic conditions at the end of the year. Even so, Brazil was the second major soybeans producer, accounting for 24% of the overall world production. At national level, about 30% of all the agricultural production came from soybeans, which is nowadays the crop with the biggest planted area (21,601, 340 hectares). Herbaceous cotton had great increase (72,71%), due to the growth by 61,27% of planted area, related to the good prices of the oilseed on the market.

These data are highlighted in the 2004 Municipal Agricultural Production, which brings results on temporary and permanent crops, by product, in the Major Regions and Federative Units. The CD-ROM attached to the publication also contains tables by municipalities and meso and micro geographic regions. Differently from previous years, this edition of Municipal Agricultural Production brings a summarized table showing all the data relative to crops displayed in decreasing order of harvested area.

Among the 61 products analyzed in the publication, the highlights are the 15 listed below, which represent over 91% of Brazilian agricultural production in 2004.

Mato Grosso already accounts for 29.30% of the national production of soybeans

There are crops of soybeans in 19 Federative Units. In the 2004 harvest, the states of Roraima and Alagoas were among the producers of this oilseed for the first time. Mato Grosso, even having faced excess of rain and spots of Asian rust, consolidated its position as the main national producer, accounting for 29.30% of the national production.


Among the ten major municipalities producing soybeans in 2004, seven come from the state of Mato Grosso, two from Goiás, and one from Bahia. These municipalities concentrated 17.32% of the total produced in the country. The municipality of Sorriso, in Mato Grosso, is the major producer of soybeans in the country; in the 2nd and 3rd positions are Sapezal and Campo Novo do Parecis, located in the same state. The seven municipalities which produced the biggest amount of soybeans in the state of Mato Grosso accounted for 13.25% of the overall national, and for 45.25% of the overall state production. 

In 2004, with a production of 49,549,941 tons of soybeans all over Brazil, the initial expectations for a total production of 58,9 tons were completely broken. This estimate had been based on the growth of 12.56% in the planted area, which occurred due to three main reasons: the excellent prices of soybeans, the increased demand by Asian countries and the better financial conditions of soybean producers. The decrease of the North American harvest is another important factor. However, the ongoing climatic conditions, which were normal in the beginning of the planting cycle, changed in December. Consequently, the Southern states were affected by severe drought, and the states of Mato Grosso, Goiás and Minas Gerais had excess of rain, which resulted in significant losses of this crop.

Production of cotton increases by 72.71% and Bahia has the major producing municipality

The Brazilian production of herbaceous cotton in 2004 was 3,798,480 tons, representing growth of 72.71% over the previous year. This change occurred, mainly, due to the increase of 61.27% in planted area, as a consequence of the good prices of the oilseed on the market. The expansion occurred especially n the state of Mato Grosso, responsible for half of the Brazilian production; new technology was used in the state, leading to a great increase of productivity, from 1 390kg/ha in 194 to 3 302 kg/ha in 2004.


Through the analysis of the municipal distribution of herbaceous cotton, it can be seen that São Desidério (Bahia) was the major producer, accounting for about 45% of the production in the state and for 8% of the national production. In Mato Grosso, however, there was higher average yield than in Bahia, due to the favorable rainfall distribution along the planting cycle.

Map 1. Production of herbaceous cotton in Brazil, with highlight to the main producing municipalities - 2004

Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de Agropecuária, Produção Agrícola Municipal, 2004.


São Paulo accounts for almost 58% of the national production of sugarcane


In 2004, the national production of sugarcane increased by 4.85% over the previous year, reaching 415,205,835 tons, which can be seen as a consequence of the prices of alcohol and sugar. In São Paulo, the major national producer, responsible for almost 57.69% of the national production, there was increase of 5.06%, totaling 239,527,890 tons. Of the 10 major producing municipalities in Brazil, 7 are located in this Federative Unit. The main municipality in this case is Morro Agudo, in the Northeast part of the state.

Sugarcane is the second crop, in terms of cost of production, and has obtained new investments in the last few years. The recovery of the price of alcohol occurred to the increasing number of cars using flex fuel (alcohol or gasoline). Another important factor was the export of fuel alcohol exceeding the export of industrial alcohol, accounting for 60% of the total. Also relative to the external sector, the positive reply to Brazil’s request for a safe-conduct to the World Trade Organization, versus the subsidies granted by the European Union for the export of sugar, contributed to this positive scenario.


Brazil has record production of rice. Rio Grande do Sul accounts for almost half of the overall production

The harvest of 13,277,008 tons of rice, in 2004, represented a new national record. There was increase of 28.47% over the previous year. The South region, major rice producer in Brazil, harvested 7,531,984 tons, that is, 56.73% of the overall national production. Rio Grande do Sul, the main producing state, held 47.74% of the total amount produced, presenting an increase of 34.94%.


The Central West region, second major rice producer, had its harvest increased by 60.56% between 2003 and 2004, reaching about 21% of the total amount produced in the country. Mato Grosso is the main producer in the region and remained in second place in the national ranking of rice-producing states.

The main rice-producing municipality is Uruguaiana, in Rio Grande do Sul. In 2004, 541,208 tons were harvested in this municipality, representing 8.54% of the total in the state and 4.08% of the amount produced in the country. Together, the ten major producers in the country held about 23% of the national production, and 48% of the production in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in 2004.

Production of corn decreases by 13.53%

As the product with major increase in production in 2003 (35%), corn fell by 13.53% in 2004, totaling 41,787,558 million tons. The harvest of corn is widely spread over the country: it is present in all the Federative Units, but only eight states make up 90% of the national production. They are, according to production in 2004: Paraná (10 934 582 tons), Minas Gerais (5 952 172 tons), São Paulo (4 647 240 tons), Goiás (3 523 279 tons), Mato Grosso (3 408 968 tons), Rio Grande do Sul (3 376 862 tons), Santa Catarina (3 257 770 tons) and Mato Grosso do Sul (2 374 015 tons).

Paraná, major national producer, contributed approximately 26% to the 2004 production. Rio Grande do Sul, which was the number two producer in 2003, was placed in the 6th position in the following year. There, besides the reduction of planted area (more than 8%), there was a period of drought which caused the reduction of both harvested area and average yield. The resulting production was 3,376,862 tons of corn, the worst figure in the last 25 years.


Although the Central West region has had a reduction of corn production of 5.79%, the municipalities of Jataí e Chapadão do Céu (in Goiás), Sapezal, Sorriso, Lucas do Rio Verde and Nova Mutum (in Mato Grosso) and Maracaju and Dourados (in Mato Grosso do Sul) are among the tem major producers of this cereal in Brazil.

Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo account for over 70% of the national coffee production

Major world coffee producer, Brazil had, in 2004, a production of 2,465,710 tons of grains (41 million 60kg-sacks), which represents an increase of 24.09% in relation to the previous year. The Southeast, where the major coffee-producing regions are located, was responsible for 81.77% of the national production. The highlight in this case was the state of Minas Gerais, with increase of 38.47% in 2004, and a total harvest of 1,228,124 tons (2,04 million 60-kg sacks). The state contributed 49.81% to the overall national production, and its main municipalities in this case were Três Pontas, Patrocínio and Nepomuceno.

The state of Espírito Santo, second major producer finished the year with a total production of 514,263 tons (8.57 million sacks), 7.07% superior to 2003. The state contributes 20.86% of the national production this year. The main producing municipalities are: Jaguaré, Sooretama and Brejetuba.

The two states, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, make up almost 71% of the national production. The state of São Paulo accounts for 10.48%; Paraná, 6.01%; Bahia, 5.26% and Rondônia, 4.12%. Acre, Amazonas, Pará, Ceará, Alagoas, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Tocantins and the Federal District also provided information on coffee harvest in 2004, although the contribute little to the overall in Brazil.

Southeast Region concentrates 84.11% of the orange production in Brazil

In 2004, Brazil produced 18,313,717 tons of oranges, equivalent to 448 million boxes of 40.8kg, accounting for an increase of 8.25% in relation to 2003. The Southeast region contributed 84.11% to the national orange production; the state of São Paulo alone represented 80.36% of the total in the country (14,717,790 tons or 361 million boxes).


The other 26 states also have orange crops, although almost all of them have a very reduced level of participation in the national production. The second major producing state is Bahia, and the third one is Sergipe, both accounting for about 4% of the production in Brazil.

Nine of the ten major orange producers are located in the state of São Paulo, in its main producing areas. The 7th position in the ranking is not in this state, but in Bahia: it is the municipality of Rio Real, famous for the quality of its fruit production.

Although oranges are widely consumed by Brazilians, it is necessary to point out that most the oranges harvested are used in the preparation of concentrated and frozen juice, which Brazil has exported since the 1960’s. Brazil is the number one producer of this fruit and the main exporter of orange juice. Florida, in the USA, is its main competitor.