Feb 23, 2018

Crop Estimates in Argentina Continue to Decline

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

After moderate showers moved across the grain producing regions of Argentina last weekend, hot and dry weather returned to this week worsening an already worrisome situation. As a result, local crop analysts in Argentina continue to lower their crop estimates for the 2017/18 growing season.

In their latest monthly crop estimate, The Rosario Grain Exchange lowered their soybean estimate 5 million tons from their last estimate to 46.5 million tons. They lowered their corn estimate 5.5 million tons from their last estimate to 35.0 million tons.

The consultancy Agritrend is estimating the Argentine soybean crop at 47.0 to 48.0 million tons and they are estimating the corn crop at approximately 37.5 to 38.0 million tons.

In their latest weekly report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is estimating the soybean crop at 47.0 million tons and the corn crop at 37.0 million tons.

For their part, the USDA is estimated the Argentine soybean crop at 54.0 million tons and the Argentine corn crop at 39.0 million tons. They will issue a new estimate in their March WASDE report.

Many analysts in Argentina are also speculating that the crop acreage may be lower than originally anticipated due to lower planted acreage and increased abandonment. The Rosario Grain Exchange reported earlier this week that in some areas of southern Santa Fe, northern Buenos Aires, and southeastern Cordoba, the rainfall this growing season has been the lowest in the last 70 years.

Thus far, the corn crop in Argentina seems to have been impacted more so than the soybeans. The early planted corn suffered from hot and dry conditions during December when the crop was pollinating. The earlier planted corn is now maturing with a few percent of the crop harvested. Much of the later planted corn has been suffering under adverse weather ever since it was planted. Most of the later planted corn is now pollinated or beyond.

The soybeans in Argentina are now entering their most critical phase of pod filling. The Grain Exchange in Buenos Aires estimates that 75% to 80% of the soybeans are rated average to poor and the soil moisture is rated approximately 75% short to very short.

Generally, the driest conditions in Argentina are in central and southern locations. The best soil moisture is across northern Argentina where the rainfall has been generally good since early January.