Brazil 2012 maize crop estimated to reach record 60 million tonnes

milan/reuters / Brazil’s total maize output, including main and second seasons, is expected to rise seven per cent to a new record of about 60 million tonnes in 2012 due to a surge in winter plantings, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said Feb. 21.

The areas planted for the second season are estimated to expand significantly, including a 29 per cent surge in plantings in the state of Mato Grosso, to offset an expected fall in the main season output after a long dry spell in major southern growing regions, the FAO said in its country brief.

Earlier this month, Brazil’s government estimated the country’s total maize (corn) crop at 60.83 million tonnes this year.

Maize exports from Brazil, the world’s third-biggest exporter, in the 2011-12 marketing year is seen at about 10 million tonnes, down from the record 11.7 million tonnes in the 2010-11 marketing year. The fall is partly in response to growing demand from the domestic livestock industry, the FAO said.

Dry weather in the main southern growing areas has also hit 2012 soybeans crops, which are expected to fall eight per cent from last year, the FAO said without giving precise figures.

Brazil’s wheat crops in 2011 are estimated at about 5.6 million tonnes, six per cent down on the bumper level of 2010, it said.

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