More than 3m tonnes of Argentine soybean production is at risk
if rains continue, Oil World said, as the Rosario and Buenos Aires grains exchanges
cautioned they were preparing to make crop downgrades.
Currently "roughly 2m-3m tonnes of Argentine soybeans are at
risk of being lost to flooding", the influential oilseeds analysis group said.
However, the losses "may even turn out above this range if the
forecast above-normal rainfall materialises in the affected region in coming
days", Hamburg-based Oil World said.
The rains - which have actually damaged crops through quality
factors, such as encouraging sprouting in the pods, besides direct flooding –
have been particularly strong in Santa Fe and Entre de Rios in the west of Argentina's
And inundations, which often occur in Argentine growing
areas in times of El Nino, are expected to continue until at least next week.
"Some wetness will continue to build in Santa Fe and Entre
de Rios as rains there will be quite heavy again," weather service MDA said.
'We are very
Separately, Alberto Padoan, president of the Rosario grains
exchange, on Thursday said that Argentine soybean crop losses may be "as much
as 2.4m tonnes", adding that "we are very concerned".
The exchange currently forecasts the crop at 59m tonnes, in
line with the estimate from the US Department of Agriculture.
Overnight, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said it might
downgrade its estimate, raised last month to 60.0m tonnes before rain damage, thanks
to the "continued bad weather accompanied by heavy rains over much of the" key
soybean growing region.
"Excess" water has "generated floods, and damaged road and
field surfaces, while persistent wetness in ripe crops is causing… grain losses
and sprouting", as well as some disease, the exchange said.
"Not only has this ruled out any chance of raising our production
forecast above 60m tonnes but, on the contrary, raised the possibility of a
downgrade to the current projection."
The rains have also slowed the soybean harvest, and the
availability of crop at port, so hampering the drive by Argentina, the
third-ranked exporter of the oilseed, to ramp up ag shipments and boost foreign
"About 15% of the Argentina soybean crop is harvested,
up nominally from last week, and about half the pace of where it was this time
last year," said Terry Reilly at Chicago broker Futures International.
However, the rains have yet to dampen expectations for the harvest
of corn, whose growing area is centred a little south east of that for
The Rosario exchange raised by 500,000 tonnes to 25.0m
tonnes its forecast for the Argentine corn harvest, citing higher-than-expected
yields from the early harvest, a result backed by the Buenos Aires exchange.
The few results in so far show yields "above initial
expectations", the Buenos Aires exchange said, estimating harvest at 18.8%
complete – up only 0.8 points week on week, and meaning a delate of 5.3 points
year on year.