By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – After a disappointing year in the agribusiness sector, Brazil’s Statistics Bureau (IBGE) predicts a 14.2 percent increase in the Brazilian crop harvest in 2017 in comparison to 2016. The Bureau forecasts a total of 210.1 million tons of grains, vegetables and oil-seeds. According to the IBGE’s Systematic Agricultural Production Survey, the 2016 crop production should total 183.9 million tons, down by 12.3 percent from 2015.
This increase will be due to the higher production expected in all regions, with the Northeast leading the way with gain forecasts of 53.9 percent and the Center-West with 20.1 percent.
“The improvement in performance will be a consequence, among other factors, of the recovery of agricultural production, with more regular rains and the advance of the plantation within the expected schedule,” stated the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) this week.
According to the entity, in 2016, the grain harvest is likely to register its biggest fall in six years influenced by the El Niño phenomenon, and marked by heavy drought and excessive rainfall, depending on the region. Next year, however, the agribusiness sector’s GDP is expected to grow as much as two percent.
According to the IBGE, the country’s three main grain crops will register significant production declines this year: soybean (-1.5 percent), rice (-15.5 percent) and corn (-25.5 percent) this year. In addition to the three main grains, potatoes, coffee beans, sugarcane, and oranges are also expected to register declines in their production this year. Of the 26 products analyzed by IBGE, only nine are expected to close 2016 with gains, including oats, onions, barley, cassava, wheat and triticale.