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Grains exchange counters gloom over Argentine corn, soybean crops

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The Buenos Aires grains exchange countered worries over Argentina’s corn and soybean crop prospects, saying that “important” rainfall had cut the threat posed by dryness.


The exchange, in a weekly report, stood by expectations of Argentine farmers sowing 18.0m hectares with soybeans, and 5.40m hectares of corn, after “abundant rains” in dry northern areas of the country “replenished soils with the moisture needed to undertake plantings”.


The rains would “guarantee” the finalisation of soybean sowing schemes in a northern region where dryness had threatened to force farmers to leave some land unseeded.


Growers had sown a further 2.2% of their soybeans over the past week, leaving just 1.1% yet to be planted, while progressing corn seedings by 1.1% to 92.4% completion.


‘Important volumes of rain’


The exchange acknowledged some crop setbacks yet remaining, with the latest rains inundating some newly-seeded soy crops in the north of the country, while mixed soil moisture levels further south threatening yield reductions, unless rainfall is forthcoming.


For corn, low soil moisture levels were restricting corn growth in parts of Buenos Aires province.


However, the exchange stressed that the “important volumes of rain” in the north in recent days “will not only allow initial sowing plans to be realised, but also guarantee the supply of moisture in the short and medium term in both crops”, corn and soybeans.


‘Irregularity of rains’


The comments follow a downbeat run for forecasts for Argentine crops, which have supported prices of soybeans in particular.


Earlier this week Dr Michael Cordonnier at Soybean and Corn Advisor cut 1m tonnes from his estimates for both corn and soybean harvests, to 40m tonnes and 52m tonnes respectively.


On Wednesday night, US Department of Agriculture staff in Buenos Aires cut their forecast for the corn crop to 40.0m tonnes, 2.0m tonnes below the USDA’s official figure.


And on Thursday, Argentina’s farm ministry trimmed its forecast for Argentine soybean sowings this season by 50,000 hectares to 16.75m hectares, while cautioning that the “general condition” of what had been seeded was “extremely variable, due to the irregularity of the rains” in both spread and volume terms.


‘Suffer water deficit’


The ministry cut its estimate for corn sowings – including that planted for purposes other than grain – by 100,000 hectares to 8.70m hectares.


And that figure included an increase of 200,000 hectares, to 2.20m hectares, in the area seen as being cut for silage, or abandoned.


The area seen as qualifying for grain use was downgraded by 300,000 acres to 6.50m hectares – diminishing to only 20,000 hectares the increase year on year.


“Most of the main corn areas suffer water deficit to a greater or lesser degree,” the ministry said.

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