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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on November 13, 2013

Brazil imports most US wheat in 35 years

Brazil corn production down, rice up slightly

For 2012/2013, Brazilian wheat production has been revised upward to 4.38 million metric tons but remains over 24 percent below the 2011/2012 production level, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

To meet 2012/2013 domestic consumption - estimated at 10.74 million metric tons - Brazil has had to import 7.12 million metric tons, due to a severe production shortfall in Mercosul supplier countries, especially Argentina. This enabled U.S. wheat exporters to ship 2 million metric tons from January to September, the largest export volume to Brazil since 1978. For 2013/2014, production is forecast at 4.77 million metric tons, almost 9 percent above 2012/2013 due to stronger prices. 2013/2014 imports are forecast at 7.7 million metric tons.

Record 2012/2013 corn production, estimated at 81 million metric tons, was negatively affected by a wholly inadequate infrastructure, low international prices, and a record U.S. harvest, according to the FAS report. Given the foregoing conditions, exporters - responsible for shipping an estimated 20 million metric tons - have incurred significant losses. For 2013/2014, corn production is forecast at 72 million metric tons due to lower prices. 

Milled rice production for 2012/2013 is estimated at 7.99 million metric tons, up marginally from 2011/2012. The estimate is buoyed by new cold-resistant varieties which are increasing yields in the state of Rio Grande de Sul, where 70 percent of Brazilian rice is grown. Milled rice production for 2013/2014 is forecast at 8.3 million metric tons and exports are placed at 850,000 metric tons.

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