Brazil’s 2018 grain and oilseeds crop will weigh in at 219.5 million metric tons, representing a 9.2% decline from this year’s record crop of over 240 million tons, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) said Tuesday. Economists said the decline could play a role in rekindling inflation. The IBGE said crop size will shrink despite a small increase in total planted area. The 2017 crop was based on unusually high yields due to ideal weather conditions. Such conditions are unlikely to be repeated in 2018. This year’s record crop helped pull down Brazilian inflation. Inflation ended 2016 at 6.3%. It is now running at a 12-month level of just 2.8%. Much of the credit for lower inflation belongs to the record grain and oilseeds crop. Overall, Brazilian food prices for the 12 months ended in November declined by 2.3%, according to the IBGE. Economists agree, with most predicting inflation of 4.0% to 4.5% in 2018.
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