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More Rain Needed to Recover Argentina Wheat Crop

30 September 2013

ARGENTINA - The 2013 wheat crop is in the early development stage. Driven by elevated domestic prices, area planted was up almost eight per cent from last year’s sharply reduced level to 3.4 million hectares.

However this figure is well below initial expectations of an increase in area over last year of 23 per cent due to the dry weather conditions during the sowing period, reports FAO.

Beneficial rains in the first half of September provided relief to early planted crops, stressed by dry weather during the second half of August, particularly in the main producing area of Buenos Aires. However, more rains are needed in the coming weeks, particularly in the western areas, to avoid reductions in yields.

Assuming normal weather in the remaining of the growing season, FAO’s preliminary forecast point to an output of 9.5 million tonnes, an increase of 16 per cent from last year’s record low.

Record 2013 maize production

Planting of the 2014 crop is underway. Low precipitation in August, however, has delayed planting operations. Preliminary estimates point to a reduction in area of 3 per cent from last year’s record level. Harvest of the 2013 maize crop was completed in June.

FAO’s latest estimates point to an output of 29 million tonnes, 37 per cent up from 2012 and record. Higher yields in the key growing areas more than offset a reduction of 8 percent in the area planted due to excessive rains at sowing time, as well as subsequent dry spells in the North-West region.

Increased maize exports in marketing year 2013/14

FAO forecast an 8 percent increase in maize exports to 18.5 million tonnes in the 2013/14 marketing year (March/February).

The increase in exports is supported by the improved 2013 production and the highly competitive Argentina maize price relative to the United States quotations. Argentina is also expected to benefit from the recent trade agreements signed with China which gives its agricultural exports preferential market access

Wheat and wheat flour prices at record levels

Wheat and wheat flour prices declined somewhat in August, however they remained at record levels,114 and 88 per cent up from last year respectively (in local currency).

The high prices are being sustained by the sharp drop in the 2012 production which has resulted in supply shortages in the local market.

In response to the record domestic prices, the Government continues to maintain restrictions on exports. In August export prices for wheat were 35 per cent lower than the domestic prices in US dollars.

TheCropSite News Desk



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