Soybean growers in Brazil, the world’s largest producer after the U.S., may harvest more of the oilseeds next year than the government estimated earlier this month, Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi said on Wednesday.
The crop may beat a December 9 forecast for 68.6 million tons, Rossi said in an interview in Brasilia.
Soybean output won’t be hurt by a crop disease known as “mad soybean,” which has been found in some plants in the states of Mato Grosso, Maranhao, Para and Tocantins, Rossi said
Regarding coffee, of which Brazil is the world’s largest producer Minister Rossi said the crop may drop to the lowest in four years in 2011.
Growers will harvest 37 million bags, down 23% from 48.1 million bags estimated for this year, Rossi said. Coffee prices will likely rise next year as global demand outpaces supplies amid declining stockpiles, he added.
“Prices will likely remain on a steady rise,” Rossi, 67, said at his office. “World demand is firm and global stockpiles are low.”
Coffee, which has surged 72% this year, extended a rally to a 13-year high on Wednesday on concern adverse weather in Brazil and India will pare global supplies.
Output in Brazil, which ships about a third of world exports, usually drops every other year because trees can’t sustain high yields for two straight harvests. Fungus that was found in coffee crops in southeastern Brazil because of excess rains won’t hurt production, Rossi said.
“The coffee blight is a problem but not a threat to output,” Rossi said. “The improvement in farmers’ income will help them fight the fungus by investing more in their crops.”