US farm officials reminded that strong South American
soybean crops were not in the bag yet even as they raised their forecast for Argentina's
harvest to a record-equalling 54.5m tonnes.
The US Department of Agriculture, in its much-anticipated
monthly Wasde crop briefing, raised by 1.0m tonnes its forecast for the Argentine
crop in 2013-14, putting it on a par with the all-time high reached four
The revision reflected an upgrade by 300,000 hectares to
20.0m hectares in the forecast for the area that Argentine farmers will
harvest, as relatively high prices lure growers from other crops.
"Area for soy this season is raised based on limited
sunflower and corn plantings due to dry weather during early plantings and lower
returns expected this year for these crops," USDA analyst Denise McWilliams
'More rainfall needed'
Dr McWilliams also noted that "scattered rains have promoted
crop emergence and establishment in some regions.
"Moisture received in the central portion of the core
planting region has stimulated planting and good emergence."
But she added that "other regions need additional rain… More
rainfall is needed."
The concerns were echoed by weather service MDA which said
that while "wetter weather on Friday may ease some of the dryness in south
western Buenos Aires [province], more rain will still be needed".
The comments come as buyers are looking to South America to
maintain the replenishment of world stocks begun with a good US soybean harvest.
Argentina is the third-ranked soybean exporter, after Brazil and the US, and is the biggest shipper of the soyoil and soymeal produced by processing the oilseed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Conab, the Brazilian crop bureau, pegged
the domestic soybean harvest at a record 90.0m tonnes, enough to overtake the
US as the top producer of the oilseed.
However, the USDA surprised many investors by keeping its
own estimate for the Brazilian crop at 88.0m tonnes.