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IBGE forecasts record harvest of 260.5 million tonnes for 2021

January 13, 2021 09h00 AM | Last Updated: January 15, 2021 11h28 AM

The third forecast for the 2021 harvest shows that the production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds should add up to a record of 260.5 million tonnes, a rise of 2.5% over 2020 (6.4 million tonnes). The estimates point out a new increase in the output of soybeans (6.8% or 8.2 million tonnes) and a decline for corn - 2nd crop (-1.8% or 1.4 million tonnes) and upland cotton (-14.0% or 607 thousand tonnes).

The final estimate for the 2020 harvest added up to 254.1 million tonnes, another national record, 5.2% above the 2019 harvest (241.5 million tonnes). It increased 2.0 million tonnes (0.8%) over the previous estimate. Rice, corn and soybeans accounted for 92.7% of the production and for 87.1% of the harvested area. Compared with 2019, soybeans rose 7.1%, rice, 7.7% and corn, 2.7%.

For soybeans, the estimated production was of 121.5 million tonnes; for corn, of 103.2 million tonnes (26.6 million in the 1st crop and 76.6 million in the 2nd crop); for rice, of 11.0 million tonnes and, for cotton, of 7.1 million tonnes, according to the Systematic Survey of Agricultural Production - LSPA.

DECEMBER estimate for 2020 254.1 million tonnes
December 2020 / November 2020 change (0.8%) 2.0 million tonnes
2020 harvest / 2019 harvest change (5.2%) 12.6 million tonnes
DECEMBER estimate for 2021 260.5 million tonnes
2021 harvest / 2020 harvest change (2.5%) 6.4 million tonnes


The 12th estimate for the national harvest of cereals, legumes and oilseeds in 2020 reached 254.1 million tonnes and a harvested area of 65.4 million hectares. In relation to 2019, the area to be harvested increased by 2.2 million hectares (3.5%). Compared with what was estimated in the previous month, the increase was of 145 thousand hectares (0.2%).

In relation to the previous year, the area for corn increased 4.3% (increases of 2.5% in corn - 1st crop and of 5.0% in corn- 2nd crop); the area for soybeans, 3.5% and the area for upland cotton, 0.5%. Nevertheless, the area for rice declined 1.2%. 
In the production, it increased 7.1% for soybeans, 7.7% for rice, 2.7% for corn (rise of 2.3% in corn - 1st crop and of 2.8% in corn- 2nd crop) and 2.8% for upland cotton.

In relation to November, the estimates for the output of potatoes - 3rd crop increased (43.5% or 299 thousand tonnes), coffea arabica (3.2% or 87.4 thousand tonnes), corn - 2nd crop (3.0% or 2.3 million tonnes), grapes (1.5% or 20.7 thousand tonnes), barley (0.6% or 2.1 thousand tonnes) and corn - 1st crop (0.0% or 594 tonnes). 

Cashew nuts (-7.9% or 11.9 thousand tonnes), oranges (-7.4% or 1.3 million tonnes), wheat (-2.7% or 172.7 thousand tonnes), potatoes - 1st crop (-2.0% or 33.3 thousand tonnes), sugarcane (-1.8% or 12.6 million tonnes), oat (-1.2% or 11.5 thousand tonnes), coffea canephora (-0.6% or 5.2 thousand tonnes) and potatoes - 2nd crop (-0.2% or 2.4 thousand tonnes) dropped.  

Among the Federation Units, Mato Grosso led the national output of grains with a share of 28.7%, followed by Paraná (15.9%), Rio Grande do Sul (10.3%), Goiás (10.3%), Mato Grosso do Sul (8.7%) and Minas Gerais (6.2%). 

Among the Major Regions, the volume of the production in the Central-West was of 121.7 million tonnes 47.9%); South, 73.0 million tonnes (28.8%); Southeast, 25.7 million tonnes (10.1%); Northeast, 22.6 million tonnes (8.9%) and North, 11.0 million tonnes (4.3%). The Central-West (9.2%), North (12.1%), Northeast (17.7%) and Southeast (8.4%) increased their production. The South Region was the only to decline (-5.4%). 

Highlights of the December estimate for the 2020 harvest

The positive changes in the estimated production over the previous month took place in Mato Grosso do Sul (9.8% or 2.0 million tonnes), São Paulo (1.8% or 177 thousand tonnes), Goiás (0.2% or 55.9 thousand tonnes), Paraná (0.1% or 54.4 thousand tonnes), Tocantins (0.7% or 35.1 thousand tonnes), Pernambuco (1.9% or 4.7 thousand tonnes), Acre (0.2% or 232 tonnes) and Espírito Santo (0.0% or 28 tonnes).

The negative changes were in Rio Grande do Sul (-0.9% or 232.0 thousand tonnes), Rondônia (-0.3% or 7.9 thousand tonnes), Amapá (-4.9% or 2.6 thousand tonnes), Alagoas (-1.7% or 1.7 thousand tonnes), Ceará (-0.1% or 784 tonnes), Rio Grande do Norte (-0.1% or 52 tonnes), Minas Gerais (-0.0% or 390 tonnes), Maranhão (-0.0% or 90 tonnes) and Piauí (-0.0% or 61 tonnes).  

POTATOES (tuber) - The 12th estimate of the total output of potatoes (3.7 million tonnes) increased 7.7% over November. The planted area and the area to be harvested were up 7.3% and the average yield increased 0.4%. Having increased their estimates by 42.5% and 2.6%, respectively, over the previous month, São Paulo and Minas Gerais stood out positively. Compared with 2019, the estimated production of potatoes fell 4.5%, pressed by São Paulo (-13.1%), Rio Grande do Sul (-19.5%) and Goiás (-18.8%).

Estimated at 1.6 million tonnes, the 1st crop retreated 2.0% over the previous month and 4.9% over the previous year. Estimated at 1.1 million tonnes, the 2nd crop was 0.2% smaller than in November. Estimated at 985.7 thousand tonnes, the 3rd crop was 43.5% bigger than the previous month and 2.7% bigger than in 2019. São Paulo and Minas Gerais were the positive highlights, reporting increases of 161.8% and 22.5%, respectively, in their output over the previous month. 

COFFEE (grain) - The estimate of the Brazilian output of coffee (3.7 million tonnes) rose 2.3% over November. The planted area reached 1.9 million hectares, representing an increase of 0.2%, while the average yield increased 2.0%. Compared with the previous year, the estimated production was 24.3% bigger, being a record in the IBGE´s time series. The planted area rose 4.4%, whereas the average yield grew 19.3%. 

Concerning coffea arabica, the estimated output (2.9 million tonnes) was a record in the IBGE´s time series, growing 3.2% over the previous month and 38% over 2019. The production in Minas Gerais (71.5% of the national overall) was estimated at 2.0 million tonnes, an increase of 4.0% over November and of 37.9% over 2019.  

Concerning coffea canephora (conillon), the estimated output (865.5 thousand tonnes) dropped 0.6% over November and 6.2% over the previous year. In Espírito Santo (64.9% of the national production), the estimate should reach 561.9 thousand tonnes, rising 0.3% over November, but retreating 11.8% over 2019.

SUGARCANE - The estimated production (677.9 million tonnes) was 1.8% smaller than in the previous month. The average yield of the sugarcane crops fell 1.2%. In relation to 2019, the production estimates increased 1.6%, with a drop of 0.3% in the area for harvesting and an increase of 1.9% in the average yield.

As the fourth largest producer of sugarcane (7.1% of the total), Mato Grosso do Sul registered the major change in the output in December, with a reduction of 22.4%, caused by the drop in the productivity of the sugarcane crops hit by a lack of rainfall. Yet, São Paulo, the largest producer (52.0% of the total), grew 2.7% in the production over 2019. 

CASHEW NUTS - The production estimate was of 138.8 thousand tonnes, a decline of 7.9% over the previous month. Compared with 2019, it retracted 0.4%. The output in Ceará (85.2 thousand tonnes) represented 61.4% of the national overall; Piauí´s (23.2 thousand tonnes), 16.7%, and Rio Grande do Norte´s (17.5 thousand tonnes), 12.6%. Compared with 2019, the production in Ceará declined 2.9%, whereas the output in Piauí grew 7.0% and in Rio Grande do Norte, 3.5%. 

WINTER CEREALS (grain) - The major winter cereals produced in Brazil are wheat, white oat and barley. The estimated production of wheat (6.2 million tonnes) dropped 2.7% over the previous month. The output estimate was 17.7% bigger in relation to 2019. The South Region accounted for 86.8% of the national triticale production in 2020. 

The estimated production of oat (925.1 thousand tonnes) declined 1.2% over the previous month. The unfavorable wheather compromised the production in Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná. The Brazilian output of oat should grow 1.5% over last year. 

Concerning barley, the estimated production (378.9 thousand tonnes) increased 0.6% over the previous month and declined 5.4% over 2019. 

ORANGES - The estimated production (15.7 million tonnes) fell 7.4% over the previous month, due to the lack of rainfall and high temperatures in the major producing regions. Compared with 2019, the drop in the output reached 10.6%. 

In São Paulo, the major producer (75% of the total), the production was estimated at 11.8 million tonnes, a reduction of 9.6% due to the extremely unfavorable climate conditions. 

CORN (grain) - The estimated production (103.2 million tonnes) grew 2.2% over the previous month and hit a record in the IBGE´s time series. The harvested area was of 18.3 million hectares, and the average yield grew 1.4%. The output was 2.7% higher than in 2019, the harvested area increased 4.3% and the average yield declined 1.6%. The first crop should account for 25.8% of the Brazilian output in 2020, and the second, for 74.2%. 

In the first crop of corn, the output reached 26.6 million tonnes. The output was 2.3% higher than in 2019, the planted area increased 0.9% and the average yield declined 0.1%. For the 2nd crop, the estimate was of 76.6 million tonnes, an increase of 3.0% over the previous month and of 2.8% over 2019. 

GRAPES - The estimated production (1.4 million tonnes) of grapes grew 1.5% over last month, but it retreated 2.0% over 2019. The major drops against 2019 were reported in Pernambuco (-19.5%) and Bahia (-38.8%). Responsible for more than half of the national output, Rio Grande do Sul rose 10.3%. 

For 2021, third forecast estimates harvest 2.5% bigger than that of 2020.

In this third forecast, the Brazilian harvest of grains, cereals and legumes should be a record in 2021 and add up to 260.5 million tonnes, more 6.4 million tonnes (2.5%) over 2020. The increase was mainly due to the bigger output of soybeans (6.8% or 8.2 million tonnes). The major rises in area were: soybeans (1.8%), corn - 1st crop (1.9%) and corn - 2nd crop (2.4%), and a decline in upland cotton (-9.1%).

UPLAND COTTONSEED - The third estimate (6.1 million tonnes) pointed out to a decline of 0.6% in the output of cotton in relation to the 2nd forecast and of 14.0% over 2020. In the last three years, Brazil hit records in the production of cotton to meet the international demand. However, this demand decreased with the Covid-19 pandemic, influencing on the planting decision of the next harvest. The planted area (1.5 million hectares) reduced 9.9% and the average yield (4,132 kg/ha) fell 4.6%. The major producers were Mato Grosso (69.4% of the national overall) and Bahia (19.7%).

PADDY RICE - The third estimate (11.0 million tonnes) pointed out to an increase of 0.8% in the output in relation to the second forecast, but a decline of of 0.8% over 2020, with reductions also of 0.2% in the area to be harvested and of 0.7% in the average yield. This output should be sufficient for the domestic Brazilian market.

Rio Grande do Sul was responsible for nearly 70.0% of the national production, with irrigated crops of high technology. The production estimates (7.6 million tonnes) dropped 1.9% over 2020 and reduced 3.3% in the productivity (7,907 kg/ha).

BEANS (seed) - The third forecast of the output of beans (2.8 million tonnes) for the 2021 harvest pointed out to a decline of 3.0% in relation to the crop harvested in 2020 (less 86.4 thousand tonnes). The 1st crop should produce 1.3 million tonnes; the 2nd crop, 956.1 thousand tonnes and, the 3rd crop, 545.6 thousand tonnes. The area to be harvested in the summer harvest (1st crop) should reach 1.5 million hectares, a decline of 0.6% over 2020, whereas the estimate for the average yield (851 kg/ha) retreated 1.3%.

CORN GRAIN - The third projection of corn grain for 2021 (101.7 million tonnes) estimated a decline of 1.5% over the 2020 harvest (less 1.6 million tonnes). However, this estimate was 1.6% higher than that carried out in the second forecast of the 2021 harvest. The trend to produce a higher volume of corn in the second crop was maintained, accounting for 74.0% of the 2021 production, against a share of 26.0% of the first crop of corn.

The first crop of corn expected 26.4 million tonnes, a drop of 3.7% over November and of 0.6% over 2020. The second crop (75.3 million tonnes) expected an increase of 3.7% in relation to the second forecast and a decline of 1.8% over 2020, regardless of the growth of 2.4% in the area to be harvested.

SOYBEAN (grain) - The third production estimate for 2021 added up to 129.7 million tonnes, an increase of 1.5% over the second forecast and a growth of 6.8% over 2020. The area to be planted (38.1 million hectares) will grow 2.7%. The average yield (3,410 kg/ha) should rise 4.0%. As the prices of soybeans were more rewarding in relation to corn, the producers should improve their cropping areas, which should represent more than 57.0% of the total area of cereals, legumes and oilseeds in 2021.