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BRAZIL CORN WATCH: Rains boost soil moisture, improve outlook for second crop

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BRAZIL CORN WATCH: Rains boost soil moisture, improve outlook for second crop

The planting of first corn crop for the 2021-22 season in Brazil continued to be in line with last year's pace, while a strong start to soybean planting has raised hopes of the timely sowing of second corn crop, reports and data from the government agencies indicated.

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Brazil's 2021-22 corn crop will be marketed during February 2022-January 2023.

The planting of first corn in the key states of Brazil, which accounts for 92% of the forecast area, reached 32.1% of the estimated area for 2021-22 as of Oct. 16, compared with 33.4% a year ago, data released Oct. 18 by the country's national agricultural agency, Conab, showed.

The planting of corn has progressed slower than expected in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina due to excess humidity.

Meanwhile, 2021-22 soybean planting reached 23.7% of the estimated area in the oilseeds producing states of Brazil, which account for 97% of the cultivated area, as of Oct. 16, compared with 7.7% around the same period in 2020, Conab data showed.

With soil moisture at more favorable levels in much of the country, the 2021-22 soybean crop planting advanced rapidly in the week ended Oct. 15, Brazil-based agriculture consultancy AgRural said in a report Oct. 18.

Rains were widespread across Brazil over Oct. 11-16, favoring crops in most parts of the important agricultural regions.

The timely planting of soybean is crucial since the second corn crop is planted after soybean harvesting. Any delay in the oilseed crop planting could force farmers to plant corn crops outside of the ideal planting window, which could hurt corn yields.

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.

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

More rains likely

Brazil is likely to receive more rains in the coming days amid improving soil moisture and water levels.

"Rains should shift into northern and eastern Brazil this week, favoring Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Sao Paulo and Parana. The rains in these locations should continue to improve moisture and will favor corn and soybean germination," Maxar said in its daily weather report Oct. 18.

The forecast indicates rains in large parts of the Midwest region over Oct. 19-25, with precipitation seen between 30 and 50 mm, according to Brazil's National Institute of Meteorology, also known as INMET.

In some parts of Mato Grosso do Sul, rainfall is likely to be around 60-80 mm over Oct. 19-25 and for western Mato Grosso, rainfall is seen below 20 mm, INMET said in the report.

Meanwhile, the favorable weather condition in Brazil weighed on the corn prices.

The corn price indicator tracked by Brazil-based Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics, known as CEPEA, fell to Real 90.18/60 kg ($275.3/mt) Oct. 15, down 1% week on week.