BRASILIA, BRAZIL — With overall planted area rising 2.9%, Brazil’s grain production is projected to reach a record 312.4 million tonnes with the 2022-23 harvest, up from 270.9 million tonnes in the recently finished season, the National Supply Company (Conab) said in its grain harvest survey released Oct. 6. 

Corn and soybeans together are predicted to reach 279.3 million tonnes, with soybean farmers expected to plant 42.89 million hectares, up 3.4% from the previous harvest. Increased costs and a migration toward more profitable crops will drop corn’s first harvest planted area 1.5%. 

 Corn planting has advanced in the south of the country, where frequent and well-distributed rainfall favors its initial development, despite the low temperatures that have delayed emergence in some regions.  

 “In the three southern states, where sowing is already advanced, producers are aware of the possible incidence of cigarrinha attacks, especially with rising temperatures in the coming months,” said Candice Romero Santos, superintendent of Agricultural Information for Conab. 

 The cereal crop in the First Harvest will increase by nearly 15% to 28.69 million tonnes, due to an expected recovery in productivity. Adding the three cereal harvests throughout the 2022-23 season, Conab estimates production of 126.9 million tonnes. 

 Rice and beans, important crops for domestic consumption, tended toward a smaller planting area. Still, the estimate is rice production at 10.8 million tonnes and legumes at 2.96 million tonnes, which would guarantee supplies for the country.  

 Winter crops are in the harvesting phase or advanced stage of development. The main product sown, wheat already is harvested in 22% of the planted area of the country. With a new record expected, Conab projects cereal production at 9.4 million tonnes, which is 22% higher than in the previous harvest. 

 Conab’s first projections for the 2022-23 crop show an increase in the final inventories of corn (20%) and soybeans (45%) compared to the 2021-22 crop, and an increase in corn and soybean consumption of 6.2% and 5%, respectively. 

For wheat, the trade balance estimates were adjusted in this survey, reducing imports from 6.3 million tonnes to 6.1 million tonnes and increasing external sales from 200,000 tonnes to 2.7 million tonnes. Brazil should end the harvest in August 2023 with a passing stock of 1.19 million tonnes. 

 Soybeans are estimated at 95.87 million tonnes in 2023, an increase of 22.5% compared to projections for 2022.  

 “This increase is motivated by a greater Brazilian supply of grain in the 2022-23 crop, combined with an increase in global demand and a forecast of a reduction in exports from the United States,” said Allan Silveira, superintendent of Market Studies and Supply Management for Conab.  

 For soybean oil, the prospect is for a decrease in exports from 2.1 million tonnes in 2022 to 1.8 million tonnes in 2023 on expectations of higher biodiesel production and Argentina returning more forcefully to the soybean oil export market in 2023. 

 The projection of higher production and increased external demand for corn leads Conab to estimate that 45 million tonnes will be exported in 2023, a 22% increase.