Cepea, April 2, 2020 – Lower supply and the higher interest of purchasers underpinned the upward trend of corn prices in Brazil in March. In Campinas (SP), the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index rose by a staggering 12.94% between February 28 and March 31, closing at 60.14 BRL (11.57 USD) per 60-kilo bag on March 31, the highest nominal level in all Cepea series. In the remaining regions surveyed by Cepea, prices were the highest since 2016.
That scenario also reflected the uncertainties about crops development, corn supply in the coming months and the macroeconomic environment. However, it is worth to mention that the sharp US dollar appreciation against Real increases the competitiveness of the Brazilian corn in the international market and should favor the upward trend of prices in the coming months.
PORTS – Until the end of March, activities were at the normal pace at Brazilian ports, with no restrictions to commodities exports. However, the agents consulted by Cepea were concerned about the possible effects of the coronavirus outbreak on global trades, which may affect the productive chain as a whole.
According to Cepea surveys, liquidity was low in the both the spot and the future markets, but prices were firm, due to the strong dollar – the American currency remained higher than 5.00 BRL during all the second fortnight of the month.
CROPS – In late March, growers were focused on finishing the harvesting, which was favored by the drier weather in most of the regions surveyed. Thus, activities were in full swing in Paraná. According to data from Seab/Deral, 95% of the state area had been sown until March 23, while the harvesting of the summer crop reached 76% of the area.
In Rio Grande do Sul, the harvesting had reached 65% of the state area until March 26, according to Emater. However, Cepea collaborators reported that the difficulties faced during crops development reduced their productive potential, leading growers to limit the volume available.