South America Calling

Unwelcome Rain Hampers Argentine Soy

Continued heavy rain over large parts of Argentina's grain belt is hampering soybean harvest efforts and taking some of the shine off what has been an exemplary crop until now.

Excessive rainfall has caused flooding in central-northern regions of Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces, as well as further north and in Entre Rios province, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said Thursday.

As a result, harvesting nearly ground to a halt over the last week, progressing just 1.4 percentage points to 15% complete, well behind the 32.5% registered at the same point last year, said the exchange.

Of great concern is that forecasts indicate rains will continue over the next seven days.

Obviously, rain during the harvest spells bad news but it remains difficult to assess the extent of the damage caused by flooding and excessive moisture around mature pods.

The Buenos Aires exchange limited itself to saying that in light of the rains it has discarded the possibility of raising its crop view from 60 million metric tons (mmt) and may lower its number in the next few weeks.

That said, it is worth noting that crops in Buenos Aires and La Pampa provinces remain in good condition and the later soybeans, known as second-crop beans, have benefitted from the rain.

Corn has been much less affected. Indeed, so significant is the portion of corn planted late that the precipitation has been mainly beneficial to crops that were in need of some moisture.

However, corn harvesting did slow, progressing just 0.8 points to reach 18.8% complete last week. That's 5.3 points back on last year.

The Buenos Aires exchange maintained its corn crop forecast at 25 mmt.

Alastair Stewart can be reached at



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