March 2, 2018

Buenos Aires Grain Exchange Slashes Soybean Production Estimate

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

The crop situation in Argentina is bad and getting worse. Persistent hot and dry conditions continue to take a steep toll on the crops in Argentina. The rainfall during February and the summer in general (December-January-February), has been the lowest in recent decades. In most of Argentina, the only good thing about the summer weather is that the temperatures have been hot, but not record high temperatures.

In their latest weekly report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange slashed their estimates for the 2017/18 Argentina soybean estimate by 3.0 million tons to 44.0 million. The soybean estimate is now 13.5 million tons below last year's production. The estimate for the 2017/18 Argentine corn crop was left unchanged at 37.0 million tons.

The Grain Exchange is now rating the soybean crop in general as 45.3% very poor, 30.7% poor, 21.1% fair, 2.6% good, and .3% excellent. The early planted soybeans are rated 72% poor to very poor, whereas the later planted soybeans are rated 85% poor to very poor. The earlier planted soybeans had relatively good weather last September and October, but the later planted soybeans have endured adverse weather ever since they were planted.

The soybeans in general are 35% filling pods and 5% mature, so the next few weeks will be critical for determining the final soybean yield. The soil moisture for the soybeans is rated 52.9% very short, 34.1% short, 12% favorable, 0.8% optimum, and 0.2% wet.

The 2017/18 Argentina corn estimate was left unchanged at 37.0 million tons and the corn in general is rated as 42.6% very poor, 33.8% poor, 18.1% fair, 5.5% good, and 0% excellent. Once again, the earlier planted corn is faring better than the late planted corn. The early corn is rated 68% poor to very poor, whereas the later planted corn is rated 85% poor to very poor.

The earlier planted corn is 46% mature and the later planted corn is 70% pollinated or beyond. The soil moisture for the corn is rated 54.2% very short, 34.2% short, 11.1% favorable, 0.5% optimum, and 0.1% wet.

The corn crop is 3.2% harvested and the early yields are averaging 6,420 kg/ha or 98.8 bu/ac, which is lower than last year and lower than earlier expectations. The yields of the later corn is currently being determined and if the corn does not receive generous rains in the next week or two, the yield of the later planted corn will be worse than the yield of the earlier corn. Unfortunately, there is very little rain in the forecast for main growing areas of Argentina.