WASHINGTON — Ahead of the season, safrinha corn production out of Brazil was already expected to be less than last year. After all, last year saw near-ideal temperatures and rainfall throughout the season for a wide majority of the growing region. This year, however, production estimates keep shrinking each month as the full impact of below normal rainfall is realized during harvest. Brazil’s crop agency, Conab, recently dropped their outlook by another 2.2 million tons from the previous month, citing early yields and dry weather as main contributing factors. The current production estimate for safrinha corn is now only 56.0 million tons. If realized, this would be nearly 11.3 million tons less than the 2016/2017 season. Total corn production estimates out of Brazil, which is a combination of full-season (first crop) and safrinha (second crop) corn, stands at 82.9 million tons.
Harvest of the safrinha corn crop continues across Brazil. In main producing state, Mato Grosso, harvest is approximately a quarter of the way complete, which is in keeping with typical harvest speeds. State-wide production this season is estimated to reach just shy of 26 million tons which, if realized, would be down about 9% from last season. Unlike states further south, not all areas of Mato Grosso were as impacted by dryness this season. Corn planted in eastern Mato Grosso, especially following the close of the ideal planting window, received the brunt of the impact. To the east of Mato Grosso is another key-producing state, Goias. Output from the state for this crop is projected to be around 6.8 million tons which would represent a 12% decline from last year. Heading into states further to the south, the year-over-year production declines take a much sharper increase. In the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, production is estimated to mimic that of Goias at 6.8 million tons. However, unlike Goias, this production would result in a nearly 28% decline from the 2016/2017 output. Finally, in the state of Parana, safrinha corn could decline by over 30% this season with estimated production to be around 9.1 million tons. Harvest in the state, which typically begins a bit later than more central states like Mato Grosso, is only about 5% complete, which is behind their normal pace.
In the US, drought conditions in northern Missouri have deepened from severe to extreme levels since last week, while abnormal dryness decreased in North Dakota and Michigan. Much of the drought conditions in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas remained largely unchanged from last week. Over the next 7 days (7/12 – 7/18), precipitation is forecast to trend wetter than normal across much of the Central Plains and Southeast. Areas of the Eastern Corn Belt to the Mid-Atlantic, along with the South Central and Northwest, however, are forecast to trend on the drier than normal side. In the Northeast, where some abnormal dryness or moderate drought has begun to spread, rain over the next 7 days will be somewhat hit or miss.
Overall temperature trends for the next 7 days will be somewhat near normal across the Corn Belt and into the Mid-Atlantic. Trends for the remainder of the East will be slightly warmer than normal, while out West, temperatures will trend 5-10F above normal. Day-to-day trends, however, will vary. Today, areas from the Northeast to Illinois will trend cooler than normal, as the Plains trend above normal. Although these trends will generally repeat on Friday, warmer trends are expected to push into the Eastern Corn Belt by Saturday and reach the East Coast by Sunday. Early next week, some cooler than normal temperatures could spread across the Northern Plains while the Northeast and Midwest trend warmer. Cooler trends could prevail in the Plains through mid-week, as the Northeast remains a bit above normal.
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