September 18, 2008


Argentina soy area to increase by 1 million hectares on-year



Argentina will plant a record 17.9 million hectares with soy during the 2008-09 season, an increase of 1 million hectares from last season, according to Ricardo Forbes, president of the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange.


Soy area is expected to increase as farmers turn to the legume at the expense of wheat and corn.


The area planted with wheat this season fell 18.5 percent from last year and corn area is expected to fall by 350,000-500,000 hectares, or 11 to 15 percent, Forbes said in an editorial posted on the exchange's Web site.


While others have forecast sunflower seed area rising sharply this season, Forbes said it will probably come in around last season's 2.7 million hectares.


"The season started amidst a strong drought, falling commodity prices and rising input costs. In addition, grain trade takes place under a regulatory scheme that makes normal operation difficult," Forbes said.


As a result, total planted area is going to be less than in the 2007-08 season, according to Forbes.

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