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IBGE: in March, grain harvest estimate for 2019 hits 1.6%

April 11, 2019 09h00 AM | Last Updated: April 12, 2019 02h27 PM

In March, the production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds in 2019 was estimated at 230.1 million metric tons, 1.6% above the 2018 harvest (3.6 million metric tons more) and 0.6% above the amount in the 2nd estimate (1.3 million metric tons more). The area to be harvested is 62.3 million hectares, 2.3% more than in 2018 (1.4 million hectares) and 0.6% above the 2nd estimate (or 399.4 thousand hectares).

Estimate  - March 2019 230.1 million metric tons
Harvest change - 2019/2018 1.6% (3.6 million metric tons)
Harvest change in 2019 / 2nd estimate for 2019 0.6% (1.3 million metric tons)

Rice, corn and soybeans account for 93.1% of the output estimate and for 87.2% of the area to be harvested. Against 2018, there was an increase of 4.8% in the area for corn, 2.0% for soybeans and a decrease of 10.0% in the area of rice crops. In terms of output, the recorded decreases amounted to: 4.5%, in the case of soybeans, 10.6%, of rice. Corn records an increase of 11.9%. Mato Grosso is the main national grain producer, with a participation of 27.0%, followed by Paraná (15.9%) and Rio Grande do Sul (14.7%). Those three states, together, accounted for 57.6% of the national output. The LSPA support material is available on the right of the page.

The output of cereals, legumes and oilseeds had the following regiona distribution: Central West (103.4 million metric tons); South (77.0 million metric tons); Southeast (21.9 million metric tons); Northeast (18.9 million metric tons) and North (8.9 million metric tons). Against 2018, there were increases of 2.4% in the Central West Region and of 3.3% in the South Region. Decreases were recorded in the Southeast (4.4%) and in the Northeast (1.2%). The North Region recorded null change. 

Highlights in the March estimate over February figures 

In March, the following percent changes stood out: upland cotton (12.2%), beans - 1st crop (8.7%), beans - 2nd crop (7.2%), corn - 2nd crop (3.4%), sugarcane (1.8%), cassava (1.6%), coffea arabica (1.3%), coffea canephora (0.0%), soybeans (-0.8%), corn - 1st crop (-1.7%), tomato (-4.6%), sorghum (-7.9%) and beans - 3rd crop (-13.3%).

In absolute figures, the highlights were: sugarcane (11,855.427 metric tons), corn - 2nd crop (2,124,491 metric tons), upland cotton (677,418 metric tons), cassava (315,629 metric tons), beans - 1st crop (109,183 metric tons), beans - 2nd crop (85,172 metric tons), coffea arabica (29,824 metric tons), coffea canephora (11 metric tons), beans - 3rd crop (-66,743 metric tons), sorghum (-182,231 metric tons), tomato (-199,859 metric tons), corn - 1st crop (-446,927 metric tons) and soybeans (-876,964 metric tons).

UPLAND COTTONSEED – The output estimate for cotton was 6.2 million metric tons, an increase of 12.2% against the previous month, a record in the IBGE time series. Rewarding prices for 2019 and positive crop results in 2018, in Bahia and in Mato Grosso, as a result of the rainy weather and favorable prices, were determining factors that stimulated the increase of investments in crops for the current year. Brazil has been benefited by the reduction of cotton supply in 2018 in the main producing countries. Consumption is expected to increase, once the Chinese stocks of cotton lint have decreased.  

Bahia reported an increase of 8.6% in output. Crops faced damages due to the lack of rain. Nevertheless, the new rainy season led to recovery of productivity in February/March. The estimated output in the State reached 1.4 million metric tons and corresponded to 21.9% of the amount to be harvested in the country this year. In Mato Grosso, the output estimate is 4.2 million metric tons, with an increase of 12.8% against the previous month. Mato Grosso is expected to produce 67.6% of all the cotton to be harvested in Brazil in 2019. In comparison with 2018, output is expected to increase 26.7%. In Maranhão and in Piauí, output estimates were 25.2% and 143.7% bigger, respectively.

COFFEE BEAN – The output estimate for coffee is 3.2 million metric tons, or 53.9 million 60 kg bag, meaning a decrease of 10.0% against 2018. Despite the decrease, that is a good opportunity for an “off” year of low output for coffea arabica. In relation to coffea arabica, the estimated output was 2.3 million metric tons or 38.7 million 60 kg bags, with an increase of 1.3% in relation to the previous month. Against 2018, the output of coffee arabica fell 13.8%, as a result of the decrease of average yield. In March, São Paulo had an increase of output estimate of 9.5%. The state is the second biggest producer of coffea arabica in the country, and accounts for 12.8% of the total amount to be harvested. The São Paulo output is expected to hit 297.2 thousand metric tons, or 5.0 million 60kg bags. Output in Minas is expected to reach 1.6 million metric tons, or 27.3 60 kg bags. Minas Gerais is the biggest producer of coffea arabica in the country, with a participation of 70.6% of the total amount to be produced.

For coffea canephora, more known as conilon, the expected output, of 914.0 thousand metric tons, or 15.2 million 60 kg bags, did not record any change in relation to the previous month. Nevertheless, in relation to 2018, it is 1.6% bigger. The output estimate in Espírito Santo was 606.9 thousand metric tons, or 10.1 million 60 kg bags. The state is responsible for 66.4% of the national output. The estimated output in Rondônia and Bahia amounted to 143.7 and 129.6 thousand metric tons, or 2.4 and 2.2 million 60kg bags. Together, these three states may account for 96.3% of the Brazilian output of conilon coffee in 2019.

It is worth mentioning the improvement of coffee quality in Brazil, due to efforts by producers that are, each day, more aware of the necessity of aggregating value to their production. Producers are worried about the prices of coffee which, due to a big supply in the Market,have fallen to levels considered insuficiente when it comes to paying for crop costs.

SUGARCANE – The estimated output in Brazil was 677.0 million metric tons, with an increase of 1.8% in relation to the previous month. The return of rain in some areas has caused the recovery of cane plantations, mainly those which will be harvested in the last 30% of the harvesting period. As a consequence, improvement of 2.3% is expected in the average yield of crops.

Being responsible for more than half of the sugarcane produced in the country, São Paulo increased its output estimate by 2.0% and reflected the increase of productivity that has been favored by climate conditions and by the adoption of new tecniques. One example is crop rotation in corn areas, whixh ends up protecting the soil in the period of sugarcane crop renewal. In the Central West Region. Mato Grosso and Goiás had increase of output estimates by  3.6% and 5.0%, respectively. In the Northeast Region, Alagoas and Maranhão also recorded increase in the average yield of crops, by 16.9% and 3.9%, respectively. Against 2018, output estimate recorded an increase of 0.4.

BEAN SEED – The expected output, considering the three crops of the product, was 3.1 million metric tons, with an increase of 4.3% against the previous month. In relation to the harvest of 2018, the total production of beans is supposed to increase 3.1%. That of bean – 1st crop  was estimated at 1.4 million metric tons, 8.7% more in comparison with the February estimate, or 109.2 thousand metric tons. Highlights were Bahia, with a hike of 85.0% (84,360 metric tons) and Ceará, with an increase of 34.3% in output.

The current comparison for the 1st crop points to a decrease of 9.7% in the estimated output. Several producing states reduced their estimates, being, among them: São Paulo (-36.1%), Paraná (-19.4%) and Goiás (-29.7%). Not very rewarding prices of beans, besides the competition with soybeans, for the areas available, led to discouraged producers to invest in the first crop. Besides, in Paraná crops were under the effect of lack of rain and of the high temperatures in November and December.

The 2nd crop was estimated, in March, 7.2% (85,172 metric tons) above that of February. Bahia, which was the main responsible for that result, had an increase of 66.1% in the output estimate, which meant 59,208 metric tons more. Paraná estimated an increase of 9.1% in output. Minas Gerais, na increase of 13.3% in its output estimate. These states are expected to produce 436.1 and 176.0thousand metric tons in the period.

So far, climate conditions have allowed proper development of 2nd crops in the main producing states. Against 2018, the output estimate for 2nd crop is 25.8% bigger. The Northeast region had an influence on this result, with hike in the output estimates of Pernambuco (44.3%), Alagoas (152.0%), Ceará (35.4%) and Bahia (478.5%). Paraná was also importante and estimates an increase of 58.6% in output. In 2018, crops in Paraná faced climate-related problems.

For bean – 3rd crop, the estimated output amounts to 436.1 thousand metric tons, with a decrease of 13.3% in relation to the February estimate. That represented a reduction by 66,743 metric tons. São Paulo is the state with the biggest influence on that result, since estimates point to a decrease of 68.8% in the output estimate and that represented 64,608 metric tons. Goiás also reported a decrease of 4.7% in the estimate. For 3rd crop the figure is 4.5% below that of 2018. Some states in compliance with the fallow policy implemented in some states before the planting of soybeans.

CASSAVA – The output estimate for cassava was 20.5 million metric tons, with an increase of 1.6% against the previous month. There were more relevant increases in the estimates of Minas Gerais (68.9%), São Paulo (10.4%), Mato Grosso do Sul (5.5%), Pará (1.0%) and Alagoas (6.0%). In relation to the previous year, the output recorded an increase of 5.6%, despite the 24.2% of planted area. Not very attractive prices and a limited demand, in 2018, discouraged investments in crops. Producers reduced planting area, the applied production technology and harvested area, leaving plants longer in the field, with cumulative reserves, and expecting better market conditions.

CORN (grain) – According to the latest report, output estimate increased 1.9%, having amounted to 91.0 million metric tons. A total 1.7 million metric tons have been added. In relation to the previous month, the estimated output is 11.9% bigger. In corn – 1st, the output estimate reached 25.7 million metric tons, with a decrease of 1.7% versus the latest report. The most significant decreases were those of São Paulo (-16.2%), Minas Gerais (-2.8%), Mato Grosso do Sul (-15.6%), Bahia (-14.0%) and Goiás (-2.9%). On the other hand, Rio Grande do Sul estimated an output 3.6% bigger. The state output must hit 5.7 million metric tons, which represents 22.2% of the national production of 1st harvest corn. Against the previous year, the output estimate was 0.3% smaller. More attractive prices of soybeans, at the time of planting, led producers to expand planting areas for that legume instead of summer corn.

As a result of the early planting of soybeans, a longer period for corn- 2nd crop is expected. That may cause a lower risk for the development of crops in the field, once there will be a lower probability of occurrence in dry periods, during the cycle, possibly having a positive effect on average yield. The output estimate (65.4 million metric tons) increased 3.4% in relation to the preceding estimate and by 17.5% in comparison with 2018.

The most significant increases in terms of production volume, against the previous year, were estimated for Mato Grosso (5.4%), Paraná (1.8%), Piauí (139.7%), Minas Gerais (11.2%) and Mato Grosso do Sul (4.2%). On the other hand, São Paulo reported a decrease of 11.9% in output. As the prices of corn were at higher levels than in the previous year, it is expected that producers increase investments. However, the occurrence of rain, mainly in the most important phenological phases, is of fundamental importance for the consolidation of current estimates.

SOYBEANS – The output estimate fell by 0.8% against the previous month, due to the dry and hot climate consitions in important producing states. Important producing areas of Paraná, São Paulo e Mato Grosso do Sul have been affected. In São Paulo, the output estimate was reduced by 6.4%, and it is expected to reach 3.2 million metric tons. Mato Grosso do Sul reported an output 7.6% smaller. As for Paraná, the output was reduced by 1.3%, due to the high temperatures of November and December. The harvest of this legume is now ongoing and only in the end the extention of losses - which have been interrupted by the start of the rainy period - will be properly known. In the affected areas, there was an advance of harvesting, with more security for the planting window of 2nd corn crops, such as corn and beans. 

SORGHUM GRAIN - The estimate hit 2.1 1 million metric tons, a decrease of  7.9% in reltion to the previous month. In Minas Gerais, the second major producer, accounting for 28.4% of the national output, fell by14.7%. On the other hand, the output of Goiás, which represents 47.6% of the national total, increased 6.1%. Other states that chengaed their output estimates were Mato Grosso (-6.4%), Rio Grande do Sul (-6.6%), São Paulo (16.1%), Bahia (29.9%), Maranhão (-74.8%), and Pará (-9.2%). In relation to the previous year, the national output of sorghum is expected to decrease 5.4%. Once the harvesting of soybeans started earlier in some states, the planting window for 2nd crop corn increased and producers gave preference to the planting of the latter, instead of sorghum, due to its price and better selling characterisitcs. A crop grown at the time of corn 2nd crop in Cerrado areas, sorghum is more resistant to dry weather than corn. 

TOMATO – The Brazilian output is expected to reach 4.1 million metric tons, a decrease of 4.6% in relation to the previous month. In the current month, Goiás reported a decline of 27.3% in the output estimate for tomato, mainly due to the decrease of 24.9% in the area to be planted. According to the IBGE's Agricultural Supervision in Goiás. part of the planting areas expected for 2019 were not confirmed. However, other important states reported higher estimates, compensating, therefore, the decline of production in Goiás. Minas Gerais and São Paulo estimated increses of 38.5% and 3.2% in the output of March, respectively, against the previous month. Against 2018, the output of tomato will grow 0.8%.