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Brazil corn production seen at record 100.5 million mt in 2019-20: Conab

New Delhi — Corn production in Brazil is pegged at record 100.5 million mt in 2019, up from January's forecast of 98.7 million mt, according to the monthly crop survey published by national agricultural agency Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (Conab) on Tuesday.

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In 2018-19, corn output in Brazil totaled 100 million mt.

High corn prices and favorable weather conditions are encouraging farmers to plant more corn. Corn area in the country is estimated at 18 million hectares in 2019-20 as against 17.5 million hectares in 2018-19, the report said.

Strong demand from the export sector, local animal protein and ethanol industries have driven up corn sales and prices for the 2019-2020 crop, whose time period spans from February 2020 to January 2021.

Corn prices in the Mato Grosso, the largest grain producer in the country, rose to Real 37.69/60 kg ($8.72/60 kg) as of the week ended February 7, up 76.5% on the year, according to the institute.

The agency also pegged domestic consumption higher at 70.5 million mt for 2019-20 as compared to 68.1 million mt predicted in January. Corn consumption in Brazil was 65.2 million mt in 2018-19.

The estimated for Brazil's opening stocks of corn for the marketing year February 2020-March 2021 has been cut to 11.4 million mt, the lowest since 2016-17, from 11.5 million mt projected in January, the report said.

In 2018-19, the opening stocks of corn in Brazil were at 16.2 million mt.

Conab also cut its estimate for Brazil's ending stocks to 8.4 million mt in 2019-20 from 9.1 million forecast last month.

Conab kept its exports forecast unchanged at 34 million mt in 2019-20 as compared to the estimate of 41.17 million mt for 2018-19.