By RHIANNON BRANCH
Brownfield Ag News Network
Brazil overtook the title as the world’s largest corn exporter in 2022-2023 but early projections indicate the US could reclaim the top spot this marketing year.
University of Illinois research associate Joana Colussi tells Brownfield stronger soybean prices and the El Nino weather pattern have prompted Brazilian farmers to reduce corn acreage.
Looking at data from CONAB, Brazil’s equivalent to the USDA, Colussi says, “Brazilian corn exports are forecast at around 40 million tons, a 27% decrease from the record shipments of 52 million tons in the 2022-2023 market year.”
She says China sourced a lot of corn from Brazil last year, so a decrease in production could open the door for US farmers.
“Although Chinese interest in US corn has lowered in the past year, the lower projection of the Brazilian harvest and the greater supply of corn here in the United States will potentially allow plentiful US supplies to regain a share in global trade.”
The USDA projects 2023-2024 Brazilian corn exports at 55 million metric tons down from 57 million in 2022-2023. US corn shipments are estimated at 51.4 million metric tons compared to 42.2 million in 2022-2023.
As Brazilian farmers are planting and US farmers are harvesting, Colussi says there are several factors that could sway the projections including Chinese demand, commodity prices and ongoing global conflicts.