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December 15, 2008

                     
Argentina corn area forecast cut by 200,000 hectares
      


Argentina's corn planting will fall to 2.44 million hectares this season, 200,000 hectares less than its forecast last week, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said Friday (December 12).

 

Area is seen down sharply from the 3.2 million hectares planted with corn last season.

 

"In the northern provinces, practically no planting has been done so far...and farmers are tending towards significantly reducing corn area and shifting to oilseeds," the Exchange said.

 

So far, farmers have planted 87.8 percent of the area seen going to corn this season.

 

However, low corn prices and high input costs may spur an even greater shift to soy.

 

The forecast corn area could suffer another reduction in the next 20 days, the Exchange said.

 

To date, 50 percent of the 2008-09 wheat harvest is complete, seven percentage points behind the harvest pace a year ago. Yields have averaged a dismal 1.68 tonnes per hectare so far, down from 2.93 tonnes per hectare last year, due to a severe drought throughout much of the growing season.

 

Final yields are expected to fall to 2.3 tonnes per hectare, down 20 percent on the year. In addition, 7.6 percent of the planted fields were abandoned due to crop damage, one of the highest levels in recent years, the Exchange said.

 

Soy planting is progressing rapidly due to increased moisture levels, although forecasts for hot, dry weather may complicate late planting, the Exchange said.

 

So far, farmers have planted 65.5 percent of the record 18.2 million hectares seen going to soy this season, five percentage points behind last year's pace, according to the Exchange.

 

To date, farmers have planted 98.2 percent of the 2.16 million hectares seen going to sunseeds this year, down one percentage points from the pace last year, according to the Exchange.

 

Estimates for Argentina's 2008-09 crop production in millions of hectares (HA) or millions of tonnes (MT):
                       

 

Wheat

Soy

Corn

Sunseed

Agriculture Secretariat

10.1 million tonnes

18 hectares

3.34 hectares

2.2 hectares

USDA

10.5 million tonnes

50.5 million tonnes

18 million tonnes

3.8 million tonnes

BA Cereals Exchange

9.7 million tonnes

18.2 hectares

2.44 hectares

2.16 hectares

Rosario Grain Exchange

9.5 to 10.5 million tonnes

n/a

n/a

n/a

 
Argentina's historical production estimates in millions of tonnes, according to the Agriculture Secretariat:
 

 

Wheat

Soy

Corn

Sunseed

Aug 7

16.00

46.20

20.50

4.65

Jul 6

14.60

47.50

21.80

3.50

Jun 5

12.60

40.50

14.50

3.80

May 4

16.00

38.30

20.50

3.70

Apr 3

14.60

31.60

15.00

3.10

Mar 2

12.30

35.00

14.70

3.40

      

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