Brazilian cotton producers had a very good year in 2019 with expanded acreage, high yields, and strong prices according to the president of the Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers (Abrapa). Brazil harvested 1.6 million hectares of cotton in 2019 with good yields being reported.
Fortunately for Brazilian producers, they had forward contracted 70% of their anticipated cotton production earlier in 2019 for over $0.70 cents per pound before prices started to weaken. Even with the weaker prices during the second half of 2019, farmers are still pleased with the overall results for 2019.
Brazil’s cotton exports to Asian markets were strong in 2019 thanks to the trade dispute between the United States and China. In fact, Brazil’s cotton exports hit record levels during October and November. Brazil is now the second leading cotton exporter in the world only behind the United States.
The president of Abrapa is expecting positive results in 2020 as well. He is expecting the acreage and yields in 2020 to be similar to 2019 and Brazilian farmers have already forward contracted 35 to 40% of their anticipated 2020 production.
The state of Mato Grosso is Brazil’s leading cotton producing state followed by the state of Bahia. In Mato Grosso, more than 90% of the cotton will be produced as a second crop after the first crop of soybeans are harvested. Planting of the 2020 safrinha cotton crop in Mato Grosso should begin in January. The state of Bahia has a shorter summer rainy season, therefore the cotton in Bahia is produced as a full-season crop. The cotton in Bahia is generally planted during December and January.