corn production dropped this month by 1.2 million tons or 33 percent to
361.4 million tons, due to a drought-driven decrease in parts of Romania and
Hungary. Major corn exporters
are taking different paths for 2002/03.
Argentina and Hungary are expected to drop production, while a larger
corn crop is expected in China and Brazil.
The net effect is an increase in corn output by 10.4 million tons for
these four countries, compared to 2001/02.
China’s corn area is projected to increase 0.5 million hectares
from a year earlier due to continued strong protection prices in Manchuria.
Yields are expected to rebound from the drought-reduced levels of the
past two seasons. Argentina’s
corn area is expected to decrease 11 percent from last season.
The high inflation combined with the 20 percent corn export tax, are
expected to dampen the benefits engendered by the devaluation in Argentina.
Brazil’s corn crop is expected to increase by 10 percent from the
drought-affected harvest in 2001/02. Corn
area in Brazil is forecast to rebound to near-normal historical levels,
erasing much of the soybean expansion that occurred in key southern states
last year. The bulk of
increased acreage is forecast to occur during the main summer crop, which
normally represents about 85 percent of total production.
Corn planting in Argentina and Brazil begins in October.
The Hungary corn crop was planted in April and is expected to be
harvested in the late fall.
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