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USDA World Agricultural Production

11 April 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - April 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - April 2012

Drought caused high crop losses in Mexico, Egypt's corn production forecast up and prospects bright for India's cotton, in April's World Agricultural Production report.
USDA World Agricultural Production

Mexico Corn: Drought Causes High Crop Losses

USDA estimates 2011/12 Mexico corn production at 19.0 million metric tons, down 7 percent from last month and down 10 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 6.0 million hectares, down 10 percent from last month and down 14 percent from last year. Estimated yield for 2011/12 corn is expected to reach 3.17 tons per hectare, up nearly 3 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year.

The reduction in output is attributed to adverse weather conditions, including late rains, drought and frost that impacted the spring/summer crop, and low water reservoirs in Sinaloa impacting the fall/winter crop. The impact of the drought was worse than previously forecasted. The Secretariat of Agricultural, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) reported that it caused high crop losses, particularly in the main producing areas of Puebla, state of Mexico, Guanajuato, and some regions of Jalisco. The spring/summer crop is estimated to reach 13.5 million metric tons, down 20 percent from the previous year. Production of the fall/winter crop, which accounts for about a quarter of total corn production, is forecast to drop by 13 percent from the 5-year average due to lower planted area. The fall/winter corn yields are expected to be good despite restricted water resources. Sinaloa and the other corn producing areas had scattered showers and seasonably warm temperatures throughout the winter season. The fall/winter crop is expected to be harvested in May and June. (For more information, contact Arnella Trent at 202- 720-0881.)

Egypt Corn: Production Estimate Revised Up, but Still Lowest in 15 Years

USDA estimates Egypt 2011/12 corn production at 5.5 million tons, up 1.7 million or 45 percent from last month, and down 1.0 million tons or 15 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 0.7 million hectares, up 0.18 million or 35 percent from last month, but down 0.15 million hectares or 18 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 7.86 tons per hectare (t/ha), compared to 7.31 t/ha last month, and the five-year-average of 8.12 t/ha.

Corn area stands at its lowest level since 2003/04, and production is at its lowest level since 1995/96. Corn competes with two other summer crops – cotton and rice. Area for both crops increased in 2011/12, largely at the expense of corn. Cotton area increased in 2010/11, primarily due to increased price incentives from the Egyptian government. During 2011/12 rice area increased to a record high due to its profitability and the more relaxed enforcement of area restrictions by the new government. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Argentina Soybeans: Harvest of First-Crop Proceeding Around Rains

Argentine soybean production for 2011/12 is forecast at 45.0 million tons, down 1.5 million from last month and down 4.0 million or 8 percent from last year. Estimated harvested area remains unchanged at 18.6 million hectares, up 0.3 million or 2 percent from last year. Yield is expected to drop to 2.42 tons per hectare, down 3 percent from last month and down 10 percent from last year.

Recent rains benefited the crop, but heat and drought during growth and development will likely limit yield, particularly in Cordoba, southern Santa Fe and northern Buenos Aires provinces. These areas account for nearly 50 percent of the first-crop soy. Late plantings of second-crop soybeans that extended through the end of January are at risk of damage from fall frost. With the first 15 percent of the soy crop harvested, yields have varied greatly across the provinces due to highly variable rains this season. (For more information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams at 202-720- 0107.)

Brazil Soybeans: Harvest Nears Completion with Lower than Expected Yields

Brazil’s 2011/12 soybean production is estimated at 66.0 million tons, down 2.0 million tons from last month and down 10 million or 13 percent from last year. Area is estimated at a record 25.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.8 million or 3 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 2.64 tons per hectare, down 4 percent from last month and down 9 percent from the 5-year average.

The soybean harvest pace is advancing quickly in Brazil with over 75 percent of the national crop harvested by the beginning of this month, 32 percent of the crop harvested in Rio Grande do Sul, and harvest completed in the top-producing state of Mato Grosso. Soybean yields for most states in Brazil are expected to be lower than last year’s record crop. A La Nina induced drought reduced yields by nearly 30 percent from last year in the southern states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. In Mato Grosso, reported harvested yields are lower than last year due to losses caused by soybean rust. In the Northeastern state of Bahia, yields were reduced due to a dry spell from mid-February through mid-March, when the crop was in critical growth stages. (For more information, contact Curt Reynolds at 202-690-0314.)

India Cotton: Favorable Prospects for Current Crop

USDA estimates 2011/12 India cotton production at a record 26.5 million bales (480-pound bales), down 2 percent from last month, but nearly unchanged from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 12.2 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 10 percent from last year. The yield is estimated at 473 kilograms per hectare, down 2 percent from last month and down 8 percent from last year.

The major factor shaping the current estimate is the apparent rate of seed cotton arrivals at ginning facilities. Seed cotton arrivals in November through February were averaging 25 percent lower than last year. At the end of March the nationwide arrivals improved and the current estimates are 9 percent lower than the same period last year. According to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), arrivals in Maharashtra are down 27 percent and in Gujarat they are up 4 percent compared to the same time last year. Combined, these states produce approximately 49 percent of India cotton. On the other hand, arrivals in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are up 3 and 8 percent, respectively. Late harvest and farmer holding (anticipating higher prices) were the primary reasons for the relatively low seed cotton arrivals at the beginning of the marketing season. As the season progresses, it is apparent that lower-than-expected yields are also a significant contributing factor, especially in Maharashtra. The monsoon season started at a relatively slow rate in MayJune with localized drier-than-normal rainfall. Conditions improved significantly in July-August resulting in an extended planting window and a boost to plantings. The early season drier-thannormal conditions coupled with expansion into low rainfall regions with limited or no supplemental irrigation supplies, raised concerns about overall potential yields. (For more information, contact Dath Mita, PhD, at 202-720-7339.)

Indonesia Rice: Production Forecast Lower Owing to Lower than Expected Yields

USDA forecasts total milled rice production in Indonesia in 2011/12 at 36.3 million tons, down 1.0 million or 3 percent from last month but up 2 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 12.1 million hectares, down 50,000 hectares or less than 1 percent from last month but up slightly from last year. Rice yields are estimated at 4.72 tons per hectare, down 2 percent from last month but up 1 percent from last year. Seasonal weather conditions have been highly variable in Indonesia’s primary rice growing regions during the 2011/12 rice growing season, with the harvest of the main season crop just finishing in early April. Indonesia produces 3 annual rice crops with the 2 irrigated dry season crops yet to be planted. Harvest of the first dry season crop will occur in July/August, while the second crop will occur in November/December. Though the general weather pattern has been more favorable than last year, crop yields from the main rainy season harvest did not improve as much as previously expected. The main season crop normally accounts for approximately 60 percent of total production. The small reduction in harvested rice area is attributed to farmers increasing the acreage of secondary crops like corn and soybeans in the upcoming dry season. Production of both of these crops has suffered over the past 2 years, owing to abnormally wet conditions from a persistent La Nina weather pattern. A return to more normal dry season conditions should encourage greater acreage of secondary crops. (For more information, contact Michael Shean at 202-720-7366.)

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