November 29, 2011


Heavy rains delay Argentina's 2011/12 soy planting



Argentina's 2011/12 soy planting has been delayed due to heavy rains over the last week, the government said in a weekly report on Friday (Nov 25).


Farmers had planted 56% of the 19 million hectares (47 million acres) expected to be planted with 2011/12 soy, marking an advance of 12 percentage points during the week and five percentage points ahead of last season's sowing tempo, according to the report.


"Good soil moisture conditions (in central Santa Fe province) will allow for significant progress in terms of planting over the days ahead," the weekly government report said.


Santa Fe is part of Argentina's fertile Pampas growing area, which is the breadbasket of this grains-exporting country.


Argentina is the world's No. one soymeal and soyoil exporter and its No. three soy supplier. The USDA sees this season's soy output at 52 million tonnes, while the government sees up to 53 million.


The South American country, a major supplier of soy, wheat and corn, has benefited from surging world food demand even as growers complain that the quota system cuts into their corn and wheat profits.


With respect to 2011/12 wheat, the weekly report said that harvesting was expected to start next week in powerhouse producing province Buenos Aires, where half the country's wheat comes from.


As of Thursday (Nov 24), farmers had collected 20% of the 4.6 million hectares planted with wheat, a five percentage point advance over the week before and two percentage points ahead of the previous season's tempo.


Earlier on Friday (Nov 25), a top Argentine official said the government will authorize exports of an additional 2.5 million tonnes to 3.5 million tonnes of 2010/11 wheat next week.


The government controls wheat and corn exports through a quota system designed to guarantee affordable local food supplies and help tame high inflation, a framework that irritates farmers.


Collection of 2011/12 corn is more advanced, and has benefited from favourable weather conditions, the report said.


The report said 71% of the 4.9 million hectares to be planted with corn have been sown, marking an advance of two percentage points during the week but trailing last season's tempo by three percentage points.

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