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Brazil has second largest grain harvest in its history

September 9th, 2009

Grain ElevatorBrazil reaped 134.34 million tonnes of grain in the 2008-09 harvest, the second biggest production in its history, state-owned food company Conab has said.

Grain production in the last 12 months was scarcely less than the 2007-2008 harvest, when the country set a record of 144.12 million tonnes.

Brazil is one of the world’s biggest grain producers and the biggest producer and exporter in the world of commodities like soybeans, coffee, sugar and orange juice.

The 6.8 percent drop from the last harvest to this was attributed to the drought that affected production in the southern part of the country of soybeans and corn, the country’s two biggest crops, Conab said.

The drought chiefly reduced grain production in the states of Parana, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul, three of the country’s main granaries.

Of a total of 134.34 million tonnes reaped in the harvest just ending, soybeans made up 57.1 million tonnes and corn 50.1 million tonnes. The two products together, despite their drop in production, represented 79.8 percent of the total.

The second biggest harvest in Brazil’s history was gathered from an area of 47.7 million hectares, an extension 0.6 percent greater than the previous harvest, which covered 47.4 million hectares.

Soybeans with 21.7 million hectares and corn with 14.1 million hectares were the crops that occupied most of the harvested areas, with close to 75 percent.

The production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds in 2009 amounted to 133.5 million tonnes, or 8.6 percent less than in 2008, which totalled 146 million tonnes, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, said in its latest forecast of harvests this year.

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