South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 01/07/13

Mood Moves More Upbeat on Argentina Soy, Corn Crop

Crop reports emanating from Argentina have been markedly more positive over the last week, focusing on the healthy state of the soybeans and corn in the ground rather than the impact of flooding.

The change of tone was triggered by some drier weather over the last seven days, which has caused water levels to recede across the Pampas, and a less humid long-term weather outlook, which will offer the crop a respite and allow for the swift conclusion of late-season planting.

Last week, the Agriculture Ministry reported that soybeans and corn already in the ground were in good condition and crops have benefitted greatly from sunshine in recent days.

The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange echoed these sentiments in its own report, noting that soybean planting, at 85% complete, had now caught up with last year's tempo, while corn planting, at 82% done, was just 1.5 percentage points back on 2011-12. If all these plants are in good condition, that equates to a pretty decent-looking crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently forecasting a record soybean crop of 55 million metric tons (mmt) and a corn crop of 27.5 mmt. On Friday, the Argentine Agriculture Ministry said these figures were in line with expectations, although other local forecasts come in below these figures.

Since September, many parts of Buenos Aires province have suffered under heavy rainstorms, which have waterlogged fields and isolated others.

However, the weather system that brought these devastating storms has started moving northward and rain will likely be less dramatic for the remainder of the season, according to a weather bulletin issued by the Buenos Aires exchange.

That's good news as more wet weather would not only restrict late planting but also foster fungal disease attacks later in the season.

Posted at 10:33AM CST 01/07/13 by Alastair Stewart
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