(Updates with prices in last paragraph.)
By Lucia Kassai
Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean output in Brazil, the world’s second-largest grower after the U.S., will drop for the first time in three years as last year’s record yields won’t be repeated, the country’s Agriculture Ministry said today.
Brazil will harvest between 72.2 million and 73.3 million metric tons of the oilseed next year, down from this year’s 75.3 million tons, the ministry’s Conab forecasting agency said today in its first 2012 crop forecast in an e-mailed report.
Planting of next year’s crop, which started last month, will grow an average 2.8 percent and yields will fall 6 percent as last year’s “extremely favorable weather” isn’t likely to be repeated, Conab said.
Corn output is forecast to be between 57.3 million and 59 million tons, compared with 57.5 million tons in 2011, Conab said. The planted crop area will expand about 3.6 percent as rising prices encourage farmers to switch to corn from soybeans.
Corn futures for December delivery settled at $6.055 a bushel in Chicago. Soybean futures for November delivery closed at $11.6375 a bushel. Corn prices rose 24 percent in the past year, while soybeans gained 9.6 percent.
--Editors: Robin Saponar, Dale Crofts
To contact the reporter on this story: Lucia Kassai in Sao Paulo at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at email@example.com