SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — The latest wheat forecast for Brazil, a record 10.935 million tonnes, has the nation poised to reverse its status as a net importer of the crop in the coming years, Reuters reported, citing an estimate by agribusiness consultancy Safras & Mercado.

The updated projection represents an increase from the 10.5 million tonnes previously expected. The adjustment accounts for the likely rise in output in the states of Parana, São Paulo, Goias, Bahia and in the Federal District. If projections are confirmed, Brazil’s wheat production this year will be 41% higher than the 7.745 million tonnes in 2021, which was already a record, Safras said.

The country remains a net importer of wheat and buys most of it from neighboring Argentina, but that may soon change. In 2021-22, Brazil is estimated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to have imported 6.5 million tonnes of wheat. 

The development of new wheat varieties has allowed Brazilian farmers to cultivate wheat plants adapted to tropical conditions. This has boosted production in the hotter, drier center of the South American country, where growers traditionally plant corn and soybeans.

Brazil, among the world’s top corn and soybean producers and exporters, now appears on track to produce all the wheat it needs in the space of 10 years or less, as the government has projected. The USDA estimates Brazil’s wheat consumption reached 11.75 million tonnes in 2021-22.