Weekly Product Updates

W7 Maize (Corn) Update: USDA Revises Global Corn Forecast for 2023/24 MY, Ukraine Anticipates Increased Corn Exports for 2023/24 MY

Maize (Corn)
Published Feb 23, 2024
In W7 in the maize (corn) landscape, the USDA's Feb-24 report revised the global cereal production downward for 2023/24 but increased the forecast for corn production. Safrinha corn planting in Brazil surged to 27% by late W7, raising concerns about potential adverse effects from predicted hot and dry weather. Meanwhile, Ukraine's corn harvest progressed well, covering 91% of the forecasted area. Paraguay saw a significant decline in corn exports in Jan-24, leading to a notable reduction in revenue. Mexico anticipates steady imports of yellow corn in 2024, compensating for production declines in key regions. Additionally, US corn exports surged in early Feb-24, driven by strong demand from various countries, underscoring the resilience of American agricultural exports.

USDA Lowers World Cereal Production, Corn Forecast Up for 2023/24

In its Feb-24 report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its previous forecast for world cereal production in 2023/24 by 2.9 million metric tons (mmt), now estimated at 2,295.82 mmt. However, the USDA revised its forecast for corn production upward by 3.1 mmt, now aiming for 1,232.5 mmt.

Brazil's Safrinha Corn Planting Advanced Amid Weather Concerns

Safrinha corn planting in Brazil reached 27% as of W7, significantly ahead of the 11% at the same time last year, marking a 16% increase week-on-week (WoW). However, concerns arise as meteorologists predict hot and dry weather resembling last Oct-23 and Nov-23 for south-central Brazil, possibly starting in the second half of Feb-24. This weather pattern could adversely affect the safrinha corn crop, which heavily relies on summer rains extending into early May. Meanwhile, the first corn crop in Brazil saw a 17% harvest completion, up from 10% in 2023, indicating a 5% weekly advance.

Ukraine's 2023 Corn Harvest Achieved 91% Coverage, Yielding 28.71 MMT

As of February 8, the 2023 corn harvest in Ukraine covered 3.68 million hectares (ha). This accounted for 91% of the forecasted area, with a total of 28.71 mmt of grain harvested at a yield of 77.9 metric ton (mt) per ha, according to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine. Overall, grain and leguminous crop harvesting in Ukraine encompassed 10.6 million ha, equivalent to 97% of the planned area, yielding 58.95 mmt of grain at a rate of 55.6 mt/ha.

Ukraine Projects Rise in Corn Exports for 2023/24 MY

In the updated forecast by the USDA for the 2023/24 marketing year (MY), Ukraine's corn production estimates remain unchanged at 30.5 mmt. However, Ukrainian corn exports are expected to rise by 2 mmt to 23 mmt.

Paraguay's Corn Exports Dropped 37% YoY, Revenue Halved in Jan-24

As of January 31, 2024, Paraguay's corn exports amounted to 154.46 thousand mt, marking a 37% year-on-year (YoY) decrease. This decline in volume led to a 50% YoY reduction in revenue, generating USD 28.8 million compared to USD 58 million in Jan-23. The average price decreased by 21% YoY, from USD 237 in Jan-23 to USD 186 in Jan-24.

Mexico Expects to Import 14 to 16 MMT of Yellow Corn in 2024

Mexico anticipates importing between 14 and 16 mmt of yellow corn in 2024, which is consistent with recent annual averages. The state of Chihuahua, the largest producer of yellow corn, experienced significant production declines in 2023, leading to increased imports for animal consumption. However, any deficit would likely be offset by production in the south-southeast region of the country.

US Corn Export Sales Soared in Week Ending February 8, Led by Strong Demand

According to recent data from the USDA, exporters from the United States (US) reported robust sales of 1.31 mmt of corn from the 2023/24 harvest in the week ending February 8. This represents a notable 7% WoW increase and a substantial 13% increase compared to the previous four weeks. The significant uptick in sales was primarily driven by key buyers such as Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, and South Korea, with undisclosed destinations also contributing significantly. While there were cancellations from Nicaragua, the overall trend indicates strong demand for US corn in international markets, showcasing the competitiveness and reliability of American agricultural exports.

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