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BRAZIL CORN WATCH: Rains to favor planting in south, dryness concern in central region

Planting of first corn crop is likely to see favorable weather conditions in southern Brazil over Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, according to weather agencies.

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"In the Southern region, there is a forecast of storms especially with the possibility of hail and wind gusts in the north and west of Rio Grande do Sul, with precipitation in the range of 80 mm in Rio Grande do Sul, central Santa Catarina and southern Parana, and can reach up to 150 mm in some pockets," said Brazil's National Institute of Meteorology, known as INMET.

Currently, planting of the 2021-22 first corn crop is underway in Brazil. As of Sept. 23, first corn planting in the Center-South region of Brazil in 2021-22 reached 26% of the forecast area, similar to last year's level, Brazil-based Agriculture consultancy AgRural said in a note.

The first corn crop accounted for 25% of Brazil's total corn production in 2019-20.

The first corn crop in Brazil is planted during September-December and harvested in February-May, while the second crop is planted in February-March and harvested in June-July.

Meanwhile, the Midwest region of Brazil needs more rains for producers to speed up soybean planting. Timely planting of soybean is crucial since second corn is planted after harvesting soybean. Any delay in the oilseed crop planting could force farmers to plant corn crops outside the ideal planting window, which could negatively impact corn yields.

"Drier weather is expected across central Brazil this week, which will maintain dryness concerns and continue to delay soybean planting. Showers should increase in south-central Brazil during the 6-10 day period, but showers will remain relatively light in Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul," Maxar said in its weather report on Sept. 27.

Although soybean planting has already begun in several states, with Parana, Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso leading the list, most producers are still waiting for more consistent rains to move forward with the planting work, AgRural said.

Corn prices

Corn price eased in some of the key spot markets in Brazil during Sept.20-24 and it is expected to continue further in the short term.

The advance of the 2020-21 second crop harvest and a fresh selling interest shown by producers weighed prices last week.

However, the rise in corn prices in the international market should keep the downward slide limited, the country's national agricultural agency CONAB said in its weekly report.

Sellers are more flexible in terms of offer values, especially those who need fresh cash to pay off current debts, Brazil-based Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics, known as CEPEA, said.

Corn price received by producers in Brazil in real/60 kg

Sept.21-25 (2020)

Sept.20-24

Sept.13 -17

Year-on-year % change

Lucas do Rio Verde/Mato Grosso

45.88

73.10

72.28

59.33

Londrina/Parana

50.30

86.20

84.20

71.37

Passo Fundo/Rio Grande do Sul

53.67

84.67

85.00

57.76

Uberlandia/Minas Gerais

58.00

95.00

95.00

63.79

Source: CONAB

CBOT corn $/MT

145.55

206.27

203.89

41.72

CEPEA corn indicator

58.90

91.56

93.62

55.44