SAO PAULO — Brazil is expected to harvest a record wheat crop of 9 million tonnes in 2022, with growers sowing the largest area for this crop in the past 32 years, according to a survey released on Thursday by Conab, the country’s food supply and statistics agency.
Brazil has already planted around 65% of the wheat area this season, estimated at 2.9 million hectares (7.166 million acres). Local farmers expanded acreage by 6.6%, just below the 1990 level of 3.28 million hectares.
Conab also forecasts yields will rise 10.3% from the previous season to 3 tonnes of wheat per hectare. In 1990, wheat yields were one tonne per hectare, according to Conab data.
The forecast suggests farmers boosted plantings as a result of global supply disruptions fears related to the war in Ukraine, which caused prices to spike.
Brazilian wheat exports rose almost fivefold to 2.4 million tonnes in the first half of the year, according to grain exporter group Anec.
Ukraine’s agriculture minister said last month Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would create a global wheat shortage for at least three seasons. Russia itself is the world’s largest wheat exporter.
With a larger domestic wheat supply, Conab reduced the forecast for imports by Brazil in the 2021/2022 harvest by 500,000 tonnes to 6 million tonnes. The old crop year ends in July, when Brazil’s exports were an estimated at 3.2 million tonnes.
For 2022/2023, the forecast is for Brazilian wheat exports to reach 2.5 million tonnes, while wheat imports were estimated at 6.5 million tonnes, Conab said. (Reporting by Roberto Samora Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)