Farmers across Brazil are reporting widespread crop loss due to severe frosts affecting the country over the past 3 weeks. After several destructive cold waves, another blast is expected over the weekend, July 24 and 25, followed by yet another at the end of the month.
The new week has begun with the already-shattered corn market in Brazil enduring yet another blow as a new cold wave swept the center-south of Brazil, bringing frosts to corn-producing states and raising fresh concerns about export volumes and contract breaches, Agricensus reports.
"It is going to be a historic crop loss," Daniele Siqueira from local consultancy Agrural told Agricensus.
On Monday, July 19, frosts hit parts of the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul, with late-planted corn areas likely affected.
The cold wave reached its peak on Tuesday, July 20 with forecasts showing potential fresh frosts in the states of Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais.
According to a report by Marco Antonio dos Santos of Rural Clima, Tuesday's frost hit crops including sugar cane, coffee, and orange. Coffee brokers said this frost was stronger than the last one.
"Output losses will be extremely large across all producing states apart from Mato Grosso… Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul will have no export capacity whatsoever," Siqueira said.
"The situation is so dramatic that there will not be any corn left in the market in September and the country will need to import much more from Argentina," Victor Martins from Hedgepoint Global Markets said.
According to Soybean and Corn Advisor president Dr. Michael Cordonnier, temperatures in southern Brazil dipped below freezing three weeks ago and it’s expected to be even colder this week.
"The coldest in 20 years in some of these areas. And I like to tell people that 20 years ago there was not much Safrinha corn. And now that crop accounts for three-quarters of all of Brazil’s corn production."
Cordonnier told Brownfield the Brazilian frost events are the equivalent of the U.S. Corn Belt experiencing three nights below freezing in mid-July.
Starting on Saturday, July 24, a new cold front will hit Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, Santos told Reuters.
Santos also predicted frosts as bad as yesterday's could return at the end of the month in the center-south region, where some farmers have not yet finished harvesting their second corn crop.
In the first half of 2021, farmers faced the worst drought in 91 years, damaging part of their second corn crop and reducing Brazil's export prospects.
The first widespread damaging frosts of the season were reported on June 30, affecting sugarcane, coffee and corn areas from the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul to the northern part of Sao Paulo.
"It has been a long time since we saw this kind of frosts in Brazil," Santos said in a note to clients sent on June 30.
Featured image credit: GFS, TropicalTidbits