UPDATE 1-Brazil 2020/2021 corn crop to reach record 108.2 mln T driven by area increase, prices -poll

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By Nayara Figueiredo

SAO PAULO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Brazil may produce a record corn crop of 108.2 million tonnes this season as farmers expand plantings amid good prices for the cereal, according to the average forecast of a Reuters poll of 11 analysts on Tuesday.

The corn area will grow by around 1 million hectares to 19.44 million hectares (48 million acres), the poll showed.

Even though a projected one-fourth of Brazil's second corn crop may be planted outside the ideal climate window, total output will be 5.54% above last season's 102.5 million tonnes estimated by the government, analysts said.

The second corn crop will represent about 80% of total Brazil corn production this year. This gives a huge boost to national output and makes Brazil competitive with the United States in export markets.

"We estimate that there will be a significant increase in the corn acreage, potentially mitigating the effects of potential yield losses in the second corn production," said Céleres' market analyst Daniely Santos.

Brazil's second corn is planted in the same area as soybeans after they are harvested, but delays affecting the soy crop this season are pushing farmers to plant part of their second corn crop outside the ideal climate window.

Adriano Gomes, analyst at AgRural, said the expansion of plantings in the current cycle is due to the attractive prices farmers hope to receive, making them take on more risks.

According to AgRural, second corn planting covered 24% of the area in Center-South states through Feb. 18, less than half the 51% area planted at this time last season. (Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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