W37: Maize (Corn) Update

In W37 in the maize (corn) landscape, Tridge’s analysis indicates that the global corn market is experiencing significant shifts as the United States (US) grapples with quality concerns in the 2023/24 season. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates a substantial increase in US corn planting for the 2023/24 season, reaching 94.9 million acres, a 7.1% year-on-year (YoY) rise. However, corn quality in the US declined, with only 53% of corn rated as good or excellent in early Sep-23, a decrease from 56% in the same period in 2022 due to a dry start to crop development. This quality decline impacts global buyers, including China, which is projected to import 23 million metric tons (mmt) of corn in 2023/24.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s corn production is expected to reach 131.9 mmt in 2023/24, a 17% YoY increase, with corn exports estimated at 55 mmt. This positive forecast positions Brazil as a significant player in the global corn market. Brazil's northern ports, including Barcarena, Itaqui, Itacoatiara, and Santarem, are gaining significance, accounting for 37% of total corn exports and surpassing the traditional port of Santos. This development reflects Brazil's investments in infrastructure and its determination to improve global market access for its corn harvests. Brazil's growing significance underscores the need for the US to address corn quality and mitigate the impact of adverse weather conditions to maintain its status as a major corn producer and exporter.

Brazil’s corn planting season for the 2023/24 harvest is well underway, with approximately 44% of the projected crops, covering 817.52 thousand hectares (ha), already sown. Brazil’s corn planting for silage reached 20% of the anticipated cultivation area of 364.29 thousand ha, with an estimated average yield of 39.09 metric ton (mt) per ha. However, several regions face challenges due to soil saturation and low temperatures, making planting and initial crop development difficult. Prolonged soil moisture and excessive rainfall caused plant stress, erosion, nutrient leaching, and even flooding in some areas, leading to plant loss. Concerns persist regarding seedling emergence in regions with surface sealing due to laminar erosion. While rains have reduced leafhopper populations, producers are closely monitoring and considering preventive insecticide applications.

Lastly, corn prices in Russia registered a decline of USD 5.20/mt by the end of W37. This is a common occurrence at the onset of the harvesting season in the southern region due to increased supply. The competitive conditions in the neighboring grain markets also influenced this downward price trend. . Additionally, experts note a lack of export demand in Sep-23, with actual shipments remaining below 25 thousand mt. Considering the current pace, Russian corn exports are expected to reach around 150 thousand mt in Sep-23.

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