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Brazil’s agriculture hits record values

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Brazil’s agriculture hits record values

By Paul Kiernan @Dow Jones Newswires



The gross value of Brazil’s top 20 crops is expected to rise 10% this year from 2010 to a record 199 billion reais ($125.9 billion), the Agricultural Ministry said Tuesday.


Higher global prices for foods and increased agricultural output in Brazil are responsible for the expected growth, which will push the aggregate value of the country’s main crops above 2008 levels, the ministry said in a press release.


The value of soy, Brazil’s leading crop by revenue, is expected to rise 17% in 2011 to BRL54.99 billion as a bumper crop coincides with strong prices. Green coffee is seen surging 38% to BRL22.22 billion, thanks to sharply higher prices.


Cotton, grapes and corn were among Brazil’s other main crops expected to increase sharply in value this year, while onions, potatoes and wheat are likely to see the biggest declines in value.


Sugar cane, of which Brazil is the world’s largest producer, is forecast to fall 8.5% in value to BRL29.99 billion, the Agriculture Ministry said. The values are based on a periodic study and don’t include estimates for production volume.


The central-western state of Mato Grosso is expected to surpass Sao Paulo, in the southeast, as Brazil’s top producer of agricultural goods. The value of Mato Grosso’s crops is seen rising nearly 60% to BRL34.2 billion, the Agricultural Ministry said.


Brazil is the world’s top producer and exporter of coffee, sugar and orange juice, and is also a major grower of soybeans and corn.


Rising commodities prices this year have provided a bonanza for producers of several crops and contributed to the country’s economic growth.


On the other hand, revenue from commodities exports has underpinned a steady appreciation in the local currency, leading policymakers to worry about Brazil’s industrial competitiveness. Official data earlier this year also showed a sharp increase in deforestation, particularly in Mato Grosso, during March and April.
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