Apr 05, 2023

2022/23 Argentina Soybeans - Low Yields and Poor Quality

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

Argentina has received rainfall for several weeks in a row and there is more rain in the forecast for this week. Therefore, metrologists are declaring that the drought in Argentina is close to being over, if it has not already ended. The recent rains may help to stabilize some of the latest developing crops, but they came too late for the earlier developing crops. The improved soil moisture will benefit the winter wheat which farmers will plant over the next several months.

The soybeans in Argentina are maybe 2% harvested nationwide with 7-8% harvested in the core production area with early yields below expectations. In the core production areas, early yields are averaging about 1,770 kg/ha (26.3 bu/ac) with a range of about 1,000 to 2,500 kg/ha (15 to 37 bu/ac). Yields are extremely variable with 0 kg/ha (0 bu/ac) in the worst areas and 4,500 kg/ha (67 bu/ac) in the best areas. It all depends if the crop received rain during the key reproductive period.

Seed quality is a disaster in many areas with as much as 50% green beans and 30-40% small and damaged seed. The maturation of the soybean plants varied greatly with green pods and nature pods on the same plant. Farmers are going to be heavily discounted due to the poor quality and buyers may have to loosen their quality standards.

Normally, the grain companies mix the poor quality soybeans with higher quality soybeans to meet the minimum standards, but this year there are very few high quality soybeans. As an example, for every truckload of green beans, the processor would need to mix in eight truckloads of good quality old soybeans, but there is not enough good quality soybeans this year.

The soybeans in Argentina were rated 67% poor/very poor, 29% fair, and 4% good/excellent as of late last week. The good/excellent percentage was up 2% from the previous week. The soil moisture for the soybeans was rated 57% short/very short and 43% favorable/optimum. The favorable/optimum percentage was up 9% from the previous week. The early planted soybeans are 45% maturing while the later planted soybeans are 1.6% maturing.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange left their soybean estimate unchanged at 25 million tons but indicated that it might move lower in future reports. It is a little hard to believe, but the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is reporting that in the hardest hit areas of the southern core region and Entre Rios, in municipalities such as San Antonio de Areco, Alcorta, Arrecifes, and San Andres do Giles, the soybean abandonment can be as high as 90%.

Below is the soybean condition rating in Argentina from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange for March 30, 2023.


2022/23 Argentina Soybean Ratings*

ConditionSoil Moisture
Poor/V. Poor %Good/Excellent %Short/V ShortFavorable/Optimum
Feb. 23, 2023 60 (25) 3 (26) 73 (41) 29 (59)
Mar. 2, 2023 67 (23) 2 (27) 74 (32) 26 (37)
Mar. 9, 2023 71 (20) 2 (31) 75 (24) 25 (74)
Mar. 16, 2023 75 (16) 2 (33) 71 (25) 29 (75)
Mar. 23, 2023 73 (17) 2 (29) 66 (19) 34 (79)
Mar. 30, 2023 67 (15) 4 (31) 57 (18) 43 (80)

*Source: Buenos Aires Grain Exchange – Crop Condition & Development Stages