December 16, 2013


USDA raises Argentina's 2013-14 soy crop by 1.0 million



Strong South American soy crops were not in the bag yet even as they raised their forecast for Argentina's harvest to a record-equalling 54.5 million tonnes, as reminded by US farm officials.


The USDA, in its much-anticipated monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) crop briefing, raised by 1.0 million tonnes its forecast for the Argentine crop in 2013-14, putting it on a par with the all-time high reached four seasons ago.


The revision reflected an upgrade by 300,000 hectares to 20.0 million hectares in the forecast for the area that Argentine farmers will harvest, as relatively high prices lure growers from other crops.


USDA analyst Denise McWilliams said, "Area for soy this season is raised based on limited sunflower and corn plantings due to dry weather during early plantings and lower returns expected this year for these crops."


She also noted that scattered rains have promoted crop emergence and establishment in some regions. But she added that other regions need additional rain.


The concerns were echoed by weather service MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) which said that while "wetter weather may ease some of the dryness in south western Buenos Aires [province], more rain will still be needed".


The comments come as buyers are looking to South America to maintain the replenishment of world stocks begun with a good US soy harvest.


After Brazil and the US, Argentina is the third-ranked soy exporter and is the biggest shipper of the soyoil and soymeal produced by processing the oilseed.


Earlier, Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB), the Brazilian crop bureau, pegged the domestic soy harvest at a record 90.0 million tonnes, enough to overtake the US as the top producer of the oilseed. However, the USDA surprised many investors by keeping its own estimate for the Brazilian crop at 88.0 million tonnes.

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