June 4, 2013


Argentina's soy prices slightly relax over past week


Over the past week, Argentina's soy prices eased slightly, slowing trade as many farmers snubbed offers and decided to hold out.


Exporters focused on buying corn, while wheat trade was stalled, the Rosario Grain Exchange said.


Spot soy sold for ARS1,710 (US$323) a tonne at the Rosario Grain Exchange on Thursday (May 23), down from ARS1,745 (US$330) a week ago. Soy futures were not traded Thursday.


Farmers are getting to the end of the soy harvest, with 96.1% of the crop brought in to date, according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. The Buenos Aires Exchange has pegged the crop at 48.5 million tonnes. That's near a record, but significantly down from early expectations for a crop of up to 55 million tonnes.


Argentina is the world's no. three soy exporter and the bumper crop was reflected in April's shipments.


Grain exports in April were up 21% on the year, while meal and pellet shipments rose 10.7%, according to the Buenos Aires exchange. However, less vegetable oil, mainly soyoil, was exported, with shipments falling 16.4% on the year.


Meanwhile, spot corn sold for ARS1,070 (US$202) a tonne in Rosario Thursday. June corn contracts sold for US$185 a tonne, unchanged on the week.


According to the Buenos Aires Exchange, this season's commercial corn production is forecast at 24.8 million tonnes. To date, 54.7% of the corn harvest has been wrapped up. Argentina is also the world's no. three corn exporter behind the US and Brazil.


Wheat was not traded again on Thursday. Winter-wheat planting is just kicking off, and expectations are for another small crop this season as government-export limits continue to lead many farmers to shun the crop.


Earlier this week, the Agriculture Ministry estimated wheat 2013-14 wheat planting at four million hectares, up from 3.16 million hectares last season. So far, 9% of the expected wheat fields have been planted, according to the Buenos Aires Exchange, which pegs the crop at 3.9 million hectares.


While up on the year, the wheat area is seen 7% below the average of the past five years and 20% below the average of the past 10 years, according to the Buenos Aires exchange.

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