Exports of corn by Argentina surpasses Brazil in 2020


         Porto Alegre, March 1, 2021 – The Argentine government’s concern over the flow of local exports at the end of 2020 seemed to be logical based on the export numbers registered by the country. Shipments reached 37 million tons in 2020 in the neighboring country, while Brazil closed with 34.86 million tons. Argentina regains its position as the world’s second-largest exporter. Meanwhile, Brazil depends on a 2021 crop that is being planted late, with 70% of the area cultivated in March.

         Argentine exports in 2020 reached 37 million tons, against 28 million tons in 2019. The currency devaluation, the decline in domestic demand, and the international flow helped the country to increase sales. Brazil closed exports at 34.86 million tons, thus losing the position of second largest exporter to the neighboring country.

         In the Brazilian case, Iran once again assumed the leading position of importer of Brazilian corn, followed by Vietnam, Japan, Egypt, South Korea and Spain. There is not much surprise in this export environment, except for the highlight that this bloc of importers has been more constant and offered greater support to Brazilian shipments. The concern for 2021 is in the position of China regarding Brazilian corn. It is not known whether China will boost in a greater volume of purchases in the international market, either from the United States or Ukraine. However, Brazil is already the largest supplier of soybeans to China. Increasing corn sales would not be a surprise. In 2020, however, China bought only 14 thousand tons of Brazilian corn and was not an important exponent in Brazilian sales.

         In 2021, Brazilian exports will depend on the result of the second crop. For now, we maintain the projection of 35 million tons for this business year. However, nearly 70% of the second crop area will be cultivated in March due to the strong delay in the soybean harvest. This does not mean that there will be premature production losses, however, average yield may decline due to the planting period, and the climatic risk is greater. At this planting pace, most plantations will pollinate and silk in May and June. The risk of drought and frosts in June and July are evident risks for a crop grown in this period. A fall-winter season with rain and without frost would be favorable to the production profile even with delayed planting.

         Agência SAFRAS Latam

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