Situation in RS: Limited impact on corn, logistics in focus

Situação no RS: Impacto limitado no milho, logística em foco
Image: Pixabay

Until the start of the rains and floods recorded in Rio Grande do Sul, producers in the state had already harvested 86% from cereal crops, leaving 14% of the 812 thousand hectares cultivated that are expected to suffer major damage.

“There is still this fraction to be harvested, which will certainly have very important damage”, assesses the Technical Director of Emater/RS, Claudinei Baldissera.

Therefore, the production of corn Gaúcha will have another complicated year, after accumulating consecutive harvest losses due to lack of rain, this time it was precipitation that caused the problem. However, despite the situation, the state is still expected to produce more corn than in the previous year.

According to official data from Conab (National Supply Company), Rio Grande do Sul harvested 3.731 million tons of corn in the 2022/23 summer harvest and should harvest 5.131 million now in 2023/24, an increase of 37.5% , which outweighs potential losses due to rain.

Impacts of rain on the corn harvest

“It is still too early to concretely estimate possible losses in Rio Grande do Sul. At the end of the harvest, losses are limited. Scenarios vary with grains per harvest, including lodging plants and sprouting or moldy grains. Ruan Sene, Analyst at Grão Direto, warns: high quality reduction can increase the risk of fungi harmful to human and animal health.

Valdecir Folador, President of ACSURS (Association of Pig Breeders of Rio Grande do Sul), highlights that the most corn producing regions in the state, North and Northeast, were the least affected by the rains and that Rio Grande do Sul harvested a large harvest, with a lot of corn already stored.

“The producer or industry is buying on the domestic market. Between July and August, the harvest begins in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná and then, depending on the off-season supply, it will be picked wherever is most viable. This situation already tends to happen in the state, entering the off-season, the producer gets supplies wherever the price is best”, he states.

State Technical Assistant for the Crops Area at Emater/RS-Ascar, Alencar Rugeri, also explains that this movement of corn consumers from Rio Grande do Sul to seek the grain in other locations is a reality present every year.

“The state has a deficit in corn, this search for self-sufficiency is one of our biggest challenges. Two years ago, for example, we were exporting corn and importing corn at the same time, it’s part of the state’s context”, he says.

Logistical challenges in importing corn in RS

For Sene, despite being common, the search for grain from other sources should increase this year. “Rio Grande do Sul is very important in the chicken and pork chain and a large part of the state’s corn is used in feed for these animals. Changing this natural dynamic, more corn will need to come from Paraná, which is closer, and from Mato Grosso, which is developing well and with an early harvest. Importing from Uruguay and Argentina is also a possibility”, he points out.

The concern regarding the state's current scenario is due to the logistics of receiving this corn from other locations, especially given the damage caused to roads and bridges.

“This routine already exists, but the rains and floods make it more disruptive. The big impact will be on logistics. A trip that used to take 4 hours before is now taking 8 hours. It is still too early to measure this impact, we have no idea what will happen after this traumatic condition, or how long it will take to rebuild. So it will have an impact, but it is not yet known whether it will be big or small”, points out Rugeri.

Increase in freight prices in Rio Grande do Sul could increase corn prices locally, without national impact, according to Ruan Sene.

“Within the state there may be a price increase, but it is not known whether there will be a significant impact on the price scenario in Brazil. Other states, such as Mato Grosso, compensate for losses with initial productivity above expectations, according to analysts.

Source: Guilherme Dorigatti | Notícias Agrícolas

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