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Agrimoney.com July 9th, 2015

Brazil’s second, or safrinha, corn harvest has proven even bigger than was thought, with officials citing “excellent vegetative growth” for another upgrade to their production estimate.

The official Brazilian government crop supply agency, Conab, raised its forecast for the safrinha corn crop, which is currently being harvested, to 51.55m tonnes, up from an estimate last month of 49.38m tonnes.

The upgrade would leave the safrinha crop up 6.5% from last year’s result, at a record high.

Farmers in Brazil take advantage of the tropical conditions by growing two crops in a single season.

The safrinha crop is a late season corn crop, which is put into the ground immediately after an early-calendar-year harvest of, typically, early maturing soybeans.

It is particularly important for global investors as it is the source of most of the country’s export supplies.

Conab pegged Brazil’s total corn production for 2014-15 at 81.81m tonnes, up from a forecast of 80.21m tonnes last month.

The safrinha forecast in the largest corn growing state Mato Grosso was revised up around 3% to 18.40m tonnes, from 17.89m tonnes last month. This is more than 4% higher than the same period last year.

Conab, noting that the Mato Grosso harvest is 39% completed, reported “an excellent vegetative growth of crops, boosting productivity expectations,” in Mato Grosso.

Last week, the influential analyst Michael Cordonnier called early yields in Mato Grosso “encouraging”, in the range of 6.6 tonnes an acre.

“Even though much of the corn was planted later than normal, the crop benefited from an extended rainy season and a lack of any prolonged period of dry weather,” said Mr Cordonnier.

Production in Parana, the second largest growing state, was forecast at 10.78m tonnes, a forecast upgraded from 10.39m tonnes last month, which would be an improvement of 5.2% from last year.

Conab reports that planting was delayed in Parana due to excessive rains at the start of the year, but harvesting is already 9% complete, although most of the state’s corn is still in the fruiting stage.

The bureau also raised its forecast for the now harvested soy crop to 96.22m tonnes, and raised its forecast for this year’s wheat harvest to 7.01m tonnes, from 6.76m tonnes last month.