BRASILIA, BRAZIL — Brazil is expected to produce 2 million tonnes less of corn than originally estimated in the 2020-21 marketing year, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Production is now estimated at 105 million tonnes due to reduced yields for first-crop corn and a likely delayed planting for large portions of the second-crop safrinha corn.

The forecast would still be a 2.4% increase over the estimate for the 2019-20 season and a new production record for Brazil.

Corn area is expected to expand by 1 million hectares, reaching an all-time high of 19.5 million hectares, the FAS said.

“Producers will be motivated by near record corn prices to expand corn acreage even as they are taking a risk on productivity by pushing the growing cycle deeper into the dry season,” the FAS said. “Strong domestic demand from the poultry and livestock sectors, as well as the growing corn ethanol industry, are greatly expanding corn consumption in Brazil and boosting domestic prices.”