In 2012, corn prices skyrocketed, demand remained high, making the 2012 crop the most valuable ever produced. What will happen next? Will the drought that impacted several countries and especially the United States continue in 2013?
The US corn production could reach 366.6 million tonnes 2013-2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture believes. This is 53 million tons more than in 2012-2013. The USDA revised its long-term forecast model to include the 2012 drought in its 25-year average. Forecasters expect the area sown for all types of cereals to be 102.6 million hectares in 2013-2014, but to decline over the next three years for corn. Specifically for corn, the USDA expects 38.78 million hectares in 2013, and 36.3 million hectares in 2014 (vs. 39 million hectares in 2012).
For both corn and soybean, yields over the last three years have been below average. The USDA studies the eight major Corn Belt states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska), which are systematically in the top ten corn producers, and represent about 76% of US corn production. It believes that the influence of rain is greater when it is lacking in summer than when it is plentiful. The effect is asymmetric between a dry year and a wet year, which does not compensate for the losses of the previous one.
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) gave its first estimate of the 2013 corn crop, forecasting a record production of 74.2 million tonnes in two harvests. The second harvest is slightly larger than the first, with figures of 38.1 and 36.1 million tonnes, or 51.3% vs. 48.7%. This is the first year that this occurs, as the first harvest is usually the largest.
The first harvest will yield 2% more corn than in 2012 because of the weather and the increase use of technology.
The second harvest, with 38.1 million tonnes expected around May is expected to decrease by 0.7% compared with 2012. Acreage, at 7.93 million hectares, is expected to rise by 7.3% compared with 2012. The projected yield of the second harvest, down 9.3% to 4,799 kg per hectare , reflects caution from the IBGE regarding the weather which may not be as good as last year.