Harvesting and planting move on

The good weather conditions have helped the harvesting progress of the summer corn crop and the winter corn crop planting. In this context, prices decreased expressively. According to the Seab/Deral (Paraná Agriculture Secretariat), until the beginning of March, 29 percent of the corn area was already harvested in the state of Paraná. For the Rio Grande do Sul state, the Emater (Regional Agriculture Office) showed that 38 percent of the total area cultivated was harvested.

The winter corn crop planting was also intensified, favored by the weather and the soybean harvesting. In the state of Mato Grosso, activities are finishing. For Paraná, the planting reached 60 percent of the 1.6 million hectares forecasted by the Seab/Deral.

The decreases in the soybean market reinforced the pressure on the domestic corn values. From Feb 29th to Mar 14th, the ESALQ/BM&F Index (Campinas region - Sao Paulo state) decreased 4.86 percent in Real, closing at 27.04 reals or 15.97 dollars per bag of 60 kilos on Friday, Mar 14th.

According to the latest National Company for Food Supply (Conab) report, published on Mar 6th, the corn production in the summer and winter 2007/08 crops should be a record. Besides the larger planted area, the superior productivity also should support the higher volume produced.

In the summer crop, the Conab forecasts a national production at 38.02 million tons, rising 3.9 percent over the previous crop - the area should be 1.5 percent higher and the productivity, 2.4 percent.

For the winter corn crop, the cultivated area should enlarge 7.3 percent, at 4.9 million hectares. Regarding the productivity, it is estimated an increase of 8.8 percent, at 3,524 kilos per hectare. The Conab forecasted a production at 17.3 million tons.

In the total (summer plus winter crops), the Brazilian corn supply should be a record, reaching 55.3 million tons, rising 7.6 percent over the previous period. The planted area should total 14.5 million hectares and the average productivity, 3,804 kilos per hectare.

The latest USDA report confirmed Brazil as the second major corn exporter in the world, overtaking China. In the 2002/03 crop, China exported 15.2 million tons of the grain. However, the volume was getting reduced in the following crops, totaling only 50 thousand tons in the 2007/08 crop. For Brazil, exports have raised from 3.2 million tons to 10.5 million. (Cepea - Brazil)

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