South America Calling

Argentina Soy Planting Nears Close, Crop Looks Good

By Alastair Stewart

Argentina's 2015-16 soybean planting is nearing a close, at 93% complete, with the crop looking generally good, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said.

Planting is basically on schedule, at 0.6 percentage points behind last year, the exchange said.

Delays are mainly due to some dry weather in previous weeks across the northwest. However, rain has returned in recent days. Planting delays have also been reported in the northeast over the last seven days, but because of excessive rain.

Excessive soil moisture is also a problem on occasion in the key producing provinces of Cordoba and Santa Fe. While it isn't causing any major problems, it is hindering the planting of late crops, said the exchange.

The soybean market remains relatively quiet after an initial surge in the run-up to the devaluation of the peso and the reduction in the soybean export quota in December. Even a surge in local prices this week, due a slide in the Argentine peso, has not greatly increased business. It appears farmers await further devaluations, but futures prices indicate lower local prices during the course of 2016.

Many eyes are on whether Argentine farmers will plant extra corn late in the season following the lifting of export taxes and quotas on the grain.

However, the Buenos Aires exchange has yet to adjust its forecast in response, maintaining it prediction that area will fall 16% to 7.0 million acres.

The corn crop is now 83% planted with most of the outstanding area in the north, where rains returned over the last week to replenish slipping soil moisture levels



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