Brazil eyes record grain harvest as China demand booms

Working side by side, combine harvesters have been tracing giant belts of white across the golden fields, cropping the sea of soybeans under a bright blue sky. AFP/Silvio Avila

SALTO DO JACUI - Brazil is on track to harvest record amounts of soy, corn and other grains this year, fueled by newly booming demand for commodities, particularly from China.

Farmers in the world's number one soy producer and number three corn producer have been harvesting at a record pace, capitalizing on prices that have leapt to multi-year highs on world markets after plunging because of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The South American giant got off to a slow start because of a drought last season in key grain-belt states, but now has a bumper crop coming in thanks to superb weather.

"Grain production in Brazil continues at the record pace we have seen through the 2020-21 harvest season, with growth of 16.8 million tonnes, or 6.5 percent, over the last harvest," the government's agricultural supply agency, Conab, said Thursday in its latest update.

Brazilian grain farmers expanded their total crop land this year by 68.5 million hectares, a 3.9-percent increase, it said.

The soy harvest is forecast to come in at an all-time high of 135.5 million tonnes, 8.6 percent above last year's crop, which was itself a record.

Corn is also on track for a record, with a forecast harvest of 109 million tonnes, up 6.2 percent.


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