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Brazil 2004-2005 Grain Harvest Falls 4.7% on Drought
Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil, the world's second-largest soybean producer, said its 2004-2005 grain crop was 4.7 percent smaller than a year earlier because of the worst drought in 40 years.

Brazil's 2004-2005 grain harvest of soybeans, wheat, corn, barley and other gains fell to 113.5 million metric tons from 119.1 million tons in the previous crop year, the government's crop forecasting agency said in a statement distributed to journalists. Soybean output rose 2.6 percent to 51.1 million metric tons.

A drought in the country's South, which harmed mainly soybean and corn, led farmers to lose 19.5 million metric tons of expected crop, or 9 billion reais ($3.9 billion) of income, said Jacinto Ferreira, the head of the government's forecasting agency. Last year, the government estimated the crop would rise to 131.9 million metric tons.

``The drought was really severe and it hurt farmers' income quite a lot,'' Ferreira said in a news conference.

The government may spend as much as 18 million reais this year in subsidies to help Brazilian farmers pay for about 38 million reais worth of crop insurances, said Wellington Soares de Almeida, the ministry's chief for rural risk management, in a phone interview in Brasilia. Governmental subsidies may increase to at least 45 million reais in 2006 to cover an expected 60 million reais of insurance, Almeida said.

The government expects the 2005-2006 crop to be about 125 million tons, while the soybean crop may rise to about 60 million tons, Ferreira also said.

The agency estimated that soy exports from this crop would rise to 20.5 million tons from 19.25 million tons exported from the previous crop.

The totals were based on survey conducted from Aug. 22 to Aug. 26 by 40 researchers.
MGR Archive 12.9.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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