The Argentine agricultural ministry saw the country's
soybean production at 56.0m tonnes, down from 58.8m tonnes last season.
Argentine soybean sowings were pressured by a change in
government export tariff policy, which encouraged farmers to switch acres to
corn and wheat, with dry weather hitting planting in the south.
But analysts are warning that more hectares could still be lost
due to flooding.
US figures could get
This week the Rosario Grain Exchange forecast the Argentine
soybean crop at 52.5m tonnes, compared to the 56.8m tonnes seen a year ago.
And last week private analyst Informa trimmed its idea of
the crop by 1.0m tonnes, to 55.0m tones.
These figures are all well behind the US Department of
Agriculture forecast of a 57.0m tonnes, made in December, though that number could
be revised in Thursday's US government supply and demand data.
Dry weather in Southern
"The weather in Argentina continues to be very erratic,"
said analyst Michael Cordonnier.
"While farmers in the core production regions of the country
are struggling with heavy rains, flooding, hail and severe storms, the farmers
and ranchers in the southern production areas are facing a prolonged drought
and high temperatures that have resulted in wild fires."
This dry weather has affected soybean planting in the region,
with the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange on last week lowering their forecast of
the soybean planted area by 300,000 hectares, to 19.3m hectares.
Wet weather could
cost more acres
"The reduction was due to drought in southern Buenos Aires
that delayed the planting of the double crop soybeans until the planting window
had already closed," noted Dr Cordonnier.
"The reduction did not include any soybeans that may be
abandoned due to flooding or saturated conditions."
"Certainly there will be soybean acreage lost due to the
flooding and the extent of the losses will depend on the weather over the next
two weeksm," Dr Cordonnier said.
More acres could be
"If the saturated areas of central Argentina remain dry for
the next two weeks, some of the flooded soybeans could be replanted," Dr
"If the saturated areas receive more rain over the next two
weeks, a lot of the drowned out soybeans will not be replanted because the
planting window will have already closed."
"Therefore, it is possible that an additional 300,000
hectares or more of soybeans could be lost due to the flooding and saturated
Combined with the acres lost to dryness, this could leave
planted area some 3% down from initial estimates.