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February 6, 2018

50-60% of Soybeans in Argentina at Risk from Dry Weather

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The soybean crop in Argentina is just now entering the critical reproductive phase and rainfall during February will be critical. There is definitely a greater downside risk for the Argentine soybean crop than upside potential.

The weather in Argentina last week was hot and dry across most of the country with very hot temperatures in the range of upper 90's to 100°F. The forecast looks like more of the same during the first part of this week with isolated temperatures as high as 40°C (103°F) with a chance of scattered moderate rains later this week. The heavier rains should be in northern Argentina with lighter amounts in central and southern Argentina.

The core region of Argentina seems to be doing fine, but that is not the case in eastern, southern, and western locations. Probably the provinces most at risk are Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Entre Rios, and then parts of Cordoba and Santa Fe. The situation is quite variable across Argentina, but I would estimate that 50-60% of the soybean crop is at risk from dry weather.

While central and southern areas are dry, there has been a lot of rain across the far northern part of Argentina over the last few weeks. There have been numerous reports of localized flooding in the provinces of Chaco and Salta in northern Argentina and local authorities have also warned of potential flooding downstream along the Parana River.

The earlier planted soybeans are setting pods and filling pods (44% setting pods and 9% filling pods) and the later planted soybeans are flowering and setting pods.

In their latest report about the crop condition in Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates the overall condition of the soybean crop at 4.5% very poor, 30.1% poor, 40.5% fair, 23.2% good, and 1.8% very good. They are rating the early planted soybeans a little better than the later planted soybeans. Some of the best rated soybeans are in northern Argentina where there has been a lot of rain over the last several weeks. The lowest rated soybeans are in southern locations, especially in Buenos Aires and La Pampa.

The soil moisture for the soybeans is rated 9% very short, 45% short, 34% adequate, 10% optimum, and 2% surplus. The soil moisture for the later planted soybeans is rated a little better than for the earlier planted soybeans because many of the later planted soybeans are in the northern Argentina where they have been receiving rains over the last several weeks.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange released their first estimate of the 2017/18 soybean crop last week and they estimated the crop at 51.0 million tons. This compared to the 54.0 million tons they estimated last September.