March 1, 2013
Argentina's soy output is expected to reach 48 million tonnes, a 9.4% drop from the 2012/13 harvest estimates of January, according to the Rosario Chamber of Commerce.
At the beginning of the season, the Argentine government and private analysts anticipated soy crop to reach 55 million tonnes but nobody expected the drought to last longer. Nevertheless if the climate helps with the 48 million tonnes, it will also be a record crop, 18.5% above the 40.5 million tonnes of 2011/12.
"With the prolongation of the drought until mid February, the number of days without rainfall equalled those of the 2011/12 campaign affecting the crops of corn and soy beans" according to the Strategic Guide for Agriculture, a report from the Rosario Chamber of Commerce.
"The volume of soy production is again down, this time to 48 million tonnes taking into account an average yield of 2,500 kilogrammes per hectare. Reductions in production are particularly significant in the north-west of Argentina, the province of Salta with a drought that repeats for the second year running, and in the provinces of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, with unit productions of 2,500 and 2,600 kilogrammes per hectare respectively", adds the document.
Despite the fall in the crop estimate, the report says that rainfall in recent days in the core agriculture area helped bring relief to soy.
The lack of sufficient rainfall also had an impact on corn. The report lowered the crop estimate in a million tonnes from the original forecast of 25.5 million tonnes. In the north of Argentina, rainfall was absent in the crucial sowing months which meant some could not proceed and others were planted with 20/30 days delay.