For many years, corn has taken a back seat to soybean production in South America, but this year, corn has been the real star of the 2018/19 South American growing season.
The way it stands now, the South American corn production will be about 26.9 million tons larger than last year (146.3 million tons produced in 2018/19 vs. 119.4 million tons produced in 2017/18). If verified, this would represent an increase of 22.5%.
For soybeans, the 2018/19 South American soybean crop will be about 11.3 million tons larger than in 2017/18 (184.1 million tons produced in 2018/19 vs. 172.8 million tons produced in 2017/18). This would represent an increase of 5.9%. The production estimates may change somewhat before the end of the growing season, but the overall picture will remain unchanged, corn production in South America grew faster in 2018/19 than soybean production.
The big increase in corn production is a function of greatly improved corn yields in both Argentina and Brazil. The 2018/19 Argentine corn yield rebounded after the severe drought of 2017/18 (47.0 million tons in 2018/19 vs. 32.0 million tons in 2017/18). In Brazil, the safrinha corn yields are expected to be much better than the disappointing crop of last year (94.5 million tons in 2018/19 vs. 82.0 million tons in 2017/18).