September 11, 2018 | Last Updated: September 11, 2018 03:21:18 PM

August estimate points to a 6.2% decrease in crop production over 2017

The eighth estimate for the 2018 national harvest of cereals, legumes and oilseeds amounted to 225.8 million metric tons, 6.2% below the figure of 2017 (240.6 million metric tons), with a decrease of 14.8 million metric tons. The area to be harvested was estimated at 61.0 million hectares, with a decrease of 159.8 thousand hectares.

Estimate of August for 2018 225.8 million metric tons
2018 / 2017 crop change -6.2% (-14.8 million metric tons)
August 2018 / July 2018 change -0.4% (-1.0 million metric tons) 

Rice, corn and soybean accounted for 92.8% of the output esstimate and accounted for 87.0% of the area to be harvested. Against the previous year, there was increase of 2.6% in the soybean area and decreases of 8.0% and 5.8% in the corn and rice areas, respectively.  As for output, corn and rice recorded decreases (18.6% and 5.3%), whereas soybean recorded increase (1.6%). 

Over July, crop output fell by 0.4% (-1.0 million metric tons). The result was mainly due to 2nd crop-corn, whos estimate declined by 1.8  million metric tons (-3.2%).

Among the Federation Units, Mato Grosso is the leader as the main national grain producer, with 26.6%, followed by Paraná (15.8%) and Rio Grande do Sul (14.8%), which, together, accounted for 57.2% of the national overall. The support material for the LSPA can be found on the right. 

Among the Major Regions, the volume of output of cereals, legumes and oilseeds was distributed as follows: Central West, 99.2 million metric tons; South, 75.4 million metric tons; Southeast, 22.8 million metric tons; Northeast, 19.6 million metric tons and North, 8.9 million metric tons. Against the results of last harvest, there was an increase of 9.9% in the Northeast Region and decreases of 6.3% in the Central West Region, of 10.2% in the South Region, of 4.8% in the Southeast Region and of 1.6% in the North Region.

August and July 2018 estimates compared

In August, the highlights in terms of output estimate, against July, were: wheat (8.2%), grape (4.2%), rice (2.2%), soybean (0.3%), 3rd-crop beans (-0.1%), 1stcrop beans (-0.3%), 1st-crop corn (-0.4%), 2nd-crop beans (-1.5%), tomato (-1.6%), 2nd-crop corn (-3.2%) and sorghum (-9.9%). In terms of absolute changes, the positive highlights came from wheat (445,435 t), soybean (362,273 t), rice (250,040 t) and grape (58,009 t). The negative highlights were 3rd-crop beans (369 t), 1st-crop beans (5,273 t), 2nd-crop beans (18,093 t), tomato (69,935 t), 1st-crop corn (106,232 t), sorghum (231,464 t) and 2nd-crop corn (1,792,832 t).

PADDY RICE– The output of rice was 11.8 million metric tons, with an increase of 2.2% against the previous year. Despite the decrease of 0.4% in the harvested area, the average yield rose 2.6%. In Rio Grande do Sul, the main Brazilian producer, accounting for 71.2% of the national output, the average yield increased 3.0% in relation to the previous month, with increases of 0.3% in planted area, of 0.2% in harvested area and of 3.3% in output.

BEAN (seed) – With the reevaluations of August, the expected harvest is 3.3 million metric tons, 1.3% below that of 2017. Despite the decrease, that amount is enough for internal supply. Harsh climate conditions have reduced the average yield, which, in 2018, was 2.7% lower than in the previous year. The biggest decreases in relation to the previous month were those of Mato Grosso do Sul (26.3%), Paraíba (17,5%), Piauí (-11.9%), Acre (9.9%), Maranhão (9.8%) and Pernambuco (8.1%).

The output of 1st-crop bean was estimated at 1.6 million metric tons, with a decrease of 0.3% against the July estimate. The harvest is almost over and there was decrease of output in all the areas. The most significant decreases occurred in Paraíba (18.0%), in Piauí (12.2%), in Pará (5.3%), in the Federal District (5.0%), in Espírito Santo (4.4%) and in Rio Grande do Sul (2,2%), due to climate-related problems in the main producing areas in these states.

Regarding 2nd-crop bean the estimate was 1.1 million metric tons, with a decrease of 1.5% in the previous month. There was decrease of 1.6% in the area to be harvested and increase of 0.1% in the average yield. From July to August, the estimated output fell by 18,1 thousand metric tons.

CORN (grain) – Over July, the output estimate is 2.3% smaller, and that means a decrease by 1,8 million metric tons, to a great extent, due to 2nd-crop corn, which accounts for 68.0% of the national output. After the record harvest of 2017, the estimate for corn production recorded a decrease of 18.6%, with a total 81.0 million metric tons, in 2018. This decrease results from the decline of 8.0% in the area to be harvested and of 11.6% in average yield.

All the 1st-crop corn has been harvested. The output reached 26.0 million metric tons. In August, there was a decrease of 0.4% in this estimate, mainly due to the smaller output of Maranhão (5.9% or 63,825 metric tons) and Piauí (3.9% or 59,041 metric tons). Against the previous year, the production of 1st-crop corn was 16.5% smaller. The planted area and the area to be harvested fell by 9.6% and 9.2%, respectively, whereas the average yield was 8.0% smaller. Bad prices during the planting period led producers to expand planting areas of soybean instead of those for corn.

In many Federation Units, there was delay in the planting of 2nd-crop corn, due to the late harvest of summer crops and due to rainfall, which made difficult the traffic of machines. The output is estimated at 55.1 million metric tons, from an area of 11.4 million hectares. The monthly change indicates a decrease of 3.2% in terms of output estimate, in relation to the previous month, with a reduction of 2.3% in average yield. Against the previous year, the harvest of 2nd crop is 19.6% bigger.

SOYBEAN (grain) – The Brazilian production of soybean, in the 2018 harvest, is one more record in the IBGE time series. The total national harvest amounted to 116.8 million metric tons, with an increase of 1.6% in relation to the previous year. Despite the delay of rainfall, there was decrease of output (4.4%), only in the South Region.

SORGHUM (grain) – The outpu estimate for sorghum was 2.1 million metric tons, with a decrease of 9.9% against the previous month. The planted area and the area to be harvested were redeuced by 0.1%, and the average yield, by 9.8%. In the month, the main decreae of output was registered in Maranhão (80.0%).

Against the previous year, the estimate of sorghum production fell by 2.0%, with planted area and the area to be harvested recording increases of 8.6% and 9.2%, respectively. The average yield recorded a decrease of 10.2%. In Goiás, the main national producer of sorghum, with a contribution of 46.5% to the national total, planted area recorded an increase of 30.4%. The informed output was 978.9 thousand metric tons, 25.9% more than in the previous year.


TOMATO – The national output of tomato is expected to reach 4.4 million metric tons, with a decrease of 1.6% against the previous month. The planted area and the area to be harvested recorded a decrease of 1.9%, whereas average yield, of 0.3%.

In relation to 2017, the output of tomato fell 0.2%, as a result of the 1.4% derease in planted area and of 1.3% in the area to be harvested. Average yield increased by 1.1%. 

WHEAT (grain) – The estimate for the national output of wheat in the current harvest is 5.9 million metric tons, with an increase of 8.2% against the previous month. Although the planted area and the area to be harvested fell by 0.7%, average yield was 9.0% up. In Rio Grande do Sul, the second main producer of wheat, the output estimate was 2.0 million metric tons, 28.6% above the result of july. Despite the decrease of 2.2% in planted area and in the area to be harvested, against the previous year, averagr yield in the state was 31.5% bigger. 

GRAPE – The estimated output of grape amounted to 1.4 million metric tons, with an increase of 4.2% against the figure in the previous year. The average yield, of 19,981 kg/ha, increased by 5.5%. The increase of output resulted from the good performance of grape trees from the Northeast, mainly those in Pernambuco which, in the curent month, recorded an increase of 31.5% against July. The state estimated an output of 309.4 thousand metric tons, an increase of 3.0% in planted area and an average yield of 46,631 kg/ha, that is, 33.8% more. 

Versus the result a year ago, the output of grape records a decrease of 14. 0%, with estimated decreases of 5.8% in the area to be harvested and of 8.7% in average yield. The losses result from climate-related conditions; output fell in all the areas, the main highlights being Rio Grande do Sul (-14.0%), Santa Catarina (-6.9%), Paraná (-6.2%), São Paulo (-3.6%), Pernambuco (-20.7%) and Bahia (-9.7%). These states, together, are expected to account for 98.4% of the national output. 

Annual Output and Change by Product
Product Output in 2017 (t) Output in 2018 (t) Change (%)
Upland cottonseed  3,838,785 4,785,086 24.7
Peanut (1st crop) 531,280 541,654 2.0
Peanut (2nd crop) 9,898 11,595 17.1
Rice 12,452,662 11,788,109 -5.3
Oat 609,130 889,868 46.1
Potato (1st crop) 1,968,761 1,785,853 -9.3
Potato  (2nd crop) 1,233.004 1,221,212 -1.0
Potato  (3rd crop) 1.078,032 790,370 -26.7
Cocoa 214,348 232,754 8.6
Coffea arabica 2,095,275 2,588,717 23.6
Coffea canephora 681,346 858,537 26.0
Sugarcane 687,809,933 686,752,550 -0.2
Onion 1,719,412 1,585,833 -7.8
Barley 286,405 392,633 37.1
Bean (1st crop) 1,561,956 1,588,641 1.7
Bean (2nd crop) 1,185,542 1,149,461 -3.0
Bean (3rd crop) 543,814 511,946 -5.9
Orange 18,666,928 17,055,855 -8.6
Castor beans 11,834 24,556 107.5
Cassava 20,606,037 19,882,535 -3.5
Corn (1st crop) 31,064,540 25,951,221 -16.5
Corn (2nd crop) 68,481,488 55,067,524 -19.6
Soybean 114,982,993 116,768,024 1.6
Sorghum 2,147,706 2,104,936 -2.0
Wheat 4,241,602 5,879,675 38.6
Triticale 41,940 47,084 12.3

The Systematic Survey of Agricultural Production - LSPA is a monthly survey to forecast and monitor the harvest of the main agricultural products, whose information is obtained by means of the Municipal Commissions - COMEAs and/or Regional Commissions - COREAs. The latter are consolidated at state level by the Agriculture Statistics Coordinating Groups - GCEAs and, later, evaluated at national level, by the Special Commission of Planning, Control and Evaluation of Agricultural Statistics - CEPAGRO. This Commission is formed by representatives from the IBGE and from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply - MAPA.

Due to users’ needs of harvest data, the surveys relative to Cereals (rice, corn, oat, rye, barley, sorghum, wheat and triticale), Legumes (peanuts and beans) and Oilseeds (cotton seed, castor beans, soybeans and sunflower) have been conducted in close partnership with the National Supply Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture (CONAB), a subdivision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA). That initiative is the result of a process (started in March, 2007) of harmonization of official harvest estimates for the main Brazilian crops.