Brazil: Grain harvest expected to see first fall since 2005 this year

8 April 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 8 April – The Brazilian grain harvest is expected to see a drop of 6.5 percent this year to 136.4 million tonnes, as compared to 2008, as a result of the financial crisis, the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE) said Tuesday.

The institute noted that this would be the first drop in production since 2005, when an expansion in Brazil’s grain production cycle began.

Amongst the reasons for a fall in the harvest are a rise in production costs, namely of fertilisers and a small drop in the area planted up due to uncertainty about future sales due to the international financial crisis.

This year the area planted is expected to total 47.1 million hectares, 0.1 percent less than in 2008, with the main grains planted being soy, maize and rice, which account for 81.3 percent of the total.

Last year, Brazil, one of the world’s biggest grain producers, had an overall harvest of 145.7 million tones, the biggest in the country’s history, as a result of an increase in the areas planted up. (macauhub)