Weekly Product Updates

W48 Corn Update: Global Maize Production Forecasted to Surge by 64% in 2023/24, and Mexico Bans GMO corn from the US

Maize (Corn)
Regulation & Compliances
Market & Price Trends
Published Dec 8, 2023

Global Maize Production Forecasts 64% Increase in 2023/24

The International Grains Council's Nov-23 forecast predicted a 64% increase in 2023/24 maize production, driven by higher yields in the United States (US). The US corn production for the 2023/2024 season is expected to reach 15.2 billion bushels, with an average yield of 174.9 bushels per acre and a cultivated area spanning 87.1 million acres. The United States Department of Agriculture anticipates a corn production increase in Ukraine for 2023/24, surpassing the record levels of 2018/19, with a forecast of 29.5 million metric tons (mmt) and yields of 7.38 metric tons (mt) per hectare (ha).

Similarly, Russia is expected to experience an uptick in corn production due to a larger-than-expected crop area, maintaining high yields despite a delayed harvest. Favorable rains will enhance yields and boost production in Paraguay. Conversely, Mexico is projected to face a decline in corn production due to reduced land availability and drought. While the European Union (EU) sees a modest increase in corn production compared to the previous year, levels remain relatively low.

South Africa's 2022/23 Maize Harvest Forecasted to Increase by 6% YoY

South African farmers are projected to harvest 6% more maize in the 2022/23 season compared to the previous season, according to the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC). The final summer crop forecast estimates the 2023 harvest at 16.40 mmt, with 8.5 mmt of white maize for human consumption and 7.9 mmt of yellow maize mainly used in animal feed. This forecast remains unchanged from the previous estimate and reflects a slight increase from the 15.47 mmt harvested in the previous season.

Brazil's Corn Planting for 2023/24 Lags Behind Previous Year's Rate

According to the National Supply Company (Conab), Brazil's first corn crop for the 2023/24 summer harvest planting has progressed, reaching 55% of the total forecast. This lags behind the 68.6% achieved in the same period during the previous harvest. The states leading in planting activities include Paraná (98%), Santa Catarina (96%), Rio Grande do Sul (80%), São Paulo (60%), Minas Gerais (59.7%), Bahia (35%), Goiás (10%), Maranhão (2%), and Piauí (1%).

Ukraine Expands Corn Exports to China in Nov-23 Amid Rising Prices

Ukraine exported 2.4 mmt of corn to China out of the contracted 2.5 mmt as of November 27, with an additional 2.2 mmt already contracted for Dec-23. Ukraine and the US will be the main suppliers of corn on the world market until the beginning of Mar-24. Deep-water port activation has led to increased corn sales to China, where the competitive price, around USD 250/mt with delivery, has resulted in significant purchases. This trend is expected to contribute to a continued rise in Ukrainian corn prices.

Mexico Bans GM Corn Imports, and Portuguese Farmers Seek Import Restrictions

Mexico banned importing genetically modified (GM) corn from the US, potentially creating a new market opportunity for American farmers. As the second-largest importer of US-grown corn, Mexico imported approximately USD 18.7 billion worth of American corn, constituting around 40% of US exports. The Mexican government's decision to prohibit GM corn in favor of natural and organic alternatives has raised concerns among American agricultural product and fertilizer companies.

Also, Portuguese farmers, represented by the Association of Farmers of the District of Coimbra (ADACO), urged the government to implement urgent measures to restrict unnecessary imports of corn. The initiative seeks to establish national and European mechanisms to limit foreign corn imports from Sept-23 to Dec-23, allowing only the "necessary minimum" until the Portuguese crop is sold. This action comes in response to difficulties in corn sales and declining prices for the new crop, with farmers highlighting a drop from USD 254.26 to around USD 238.03/mt in the current market, making corn progressively cheaper each year.

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