By Roberto Samora

SAO PAULO, Feb 12 (Reuters)Brazil’s 2023/24 second-corn production projection was raised by nearly 5 million metric tons to 91.2 million tons from 86.3 million tons, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, citing evidence of farmers planting an area larger than initially estimated.

Brazil’s second-corn is sowed after soybeans are harvested in the same fields, and an acceleration of the soy cycle changed the consultancy’s expectations in relation to the second-corn crop, AgRural said.

AgRural now predicts the second-corn being sowed on 16.376 million hectares (40.4 million acres), 4.7% smaller than last season’s area based on data from Brazilian crop agency Conab.

In December, however, the consultancy had expected a 9.4% drop in the area to be planted with second-corn and production of 86.3 million metric tons.

This season, hot and dry weather caused crop failure on many Mato Grosso soybean farms. Such a process accelerated the soy cycle in Brazil’s biggest farm state, widening the ideal planting window for second-corn, AgRural said.

The consultancy firm said on Monday Brazil’s 2023/24 soybean harvest hit 23% of planted area as of last Thursday, compared to 17% in the same period a year earlier.

According to analysts, farmers ought to plant their second-corn by late February or face higher climate risk if they do it in early March.

“Back in December, a tighter window for corn planting was expected. But with the anticipation of soybeans and an accelerated harvest in Mato Grosso, space was freed up for corn sowing to take place within the ideal window,” said AgRural’s analyst Adriano Gomes.

AgRural also highlighted better price expectations for corn, starting at the end of last year, as favoring a decision to risk planting more of it this season.

Second-corn represents 70%-80% of national corn output in a given year. Brazil’s second-corn, harvested in the middle of the year, competes with U.S. corn in global export markets.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora Writing by Ana Mano; editing Diane Craft and David Evans)

((ana.mano@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +55-11-5644-7704; Mob: +55-119-4470-4529; Reuters Messaging: ana.mano.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Source: Nasdaq

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