South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Tuesday 12/04/12

Buenos Aires Soggy, But Rest of Argentina Benefits From Rain

More rain is the last thing grain farmers in Argentina's Buenos Aires province needed this week, but that is precisely what they are getting.

Forecast precipitation of up to 4 inches this week won't allow waterlogged fields to dry out or ease flooding on roads accessing fields, increasing the possibility that some areas won't be planted at all this summer and others will be sowed long after the sweet spot in the planting window has passed.

This situation provided support to grain markets Monday.

But there is also an upside to the arrival of the latest cold front over the world's No. 3 soybean and corn exporter: It is bringing precipitation to the provinces of Cordoba, Santa Fe and Entre Rios where the topsoil will gratefully accept the soaking.

It is worth noting that the biggest delays to Argentine soybean planting efforts are not in waterlogged Buenos Aires but in Cordoba, where insufficient soil moisture is the problem, according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. Argentine soy planting was 11 percentage points back on last year at 45%, said the exchange Thursday.

It also can't be forgotten that the rain is benefitting the majority of soybeans in the ground, not only in Cordoba and Santa Fe but also in Buenos Aires, with farmers reporting that early-planted beans are in generally good condition across most of Argentina.

The outlook is similar for corn, for which planting was 12 points back on last year at 52.4% complete as of Thursday, said the exchange.

It is a fluid situation in which flood impact is difficult to assess. But while area will certainly be lost and yield potential clipped in the soggy parts of Buenos Aires, we can't forget that there are other areas.


Posted at 9:55AM CST 12/04/12 by Alastair Stewart
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