Argentine soy yields and harvesting area have been chopped by drought to their lowest levels since the 2008/09 season, analysts said on Thursday, citing the effect of a four-month dry spell that suddenly gave way to floods in April.
Argentina, the world’s third biggest soy producer, booked its largest purchase of U.S. soybeans in 20 years on Tuesday after drought cut its harvest, forcing crushers there to turn to imports. The surprise move pushed Chicago soybean futures to a one-month high, in the latest development to upend global soy trading after top buyer China last week proposed tariffs on U.S. imports amid an intensifying Washington-Beijing trade dispute.
A protest by grain transporters in Argentina could leave exporters and crushers operating without soy, corn and wheat, an industry group said on Monday.
Argentina's bread-basket province of Buenos Aires will remain mostly dry over the days ahead, meteorologists said on Tuesday, after reporting scant rains over the weekend in the country's biggest and most productive farm area.
Argentina authorized the use of genetically modified soybean seeds resistant to herbicides other than glyphosate, as the European Union (EU) debates whether to extend the license of weed-killers containing the ingredient.
Argentina's Agro-industry minister Ricardo Buryaile estimated the 2016/17 corn crop should reach 52.9 million tons, given a 20% increase in the area planted, which will be in detriment of soybeans. The last crop of corn, 2015/16, was 37.9 million dollars.
Monsanto Co., eager to get royalties from growers in Argentina on genetically modified soybeans, said on Wednesday it was still trying to resolve a dispute with the government over inspections, while an agricultural ministry source said a deal may be reached in the coming days.
Argentina could export up to 25% fewer soybeans this year than last, analysts said, after severe rains left many fields underwater, damaging oilseed quality. In April, floods inundated key farm areas of Argentina, the world's third-biggest exporter of raw soybeans, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to slash its forecast for soybean output to 56.5 million metric tons this year.
Gustavo Grobocopatel, head of the agro-business Grobo group anticipated that with the measures announced by the team of president elect Mauricio Macri and to be implemented from next 10 December, Argentina's grains and oilseed crop “it going to increase by 40% to 50%”, meaning dollars for industry, jobs and services.
Argentina's much-watched soybean sowings will set a record this season, but the country is heading for a weaker wheat harvest, despite ideas of very good yields, the country's farm ministry said. In its first estimate the ministry said soybean sowings for 2015-16, pegged area at 20.6m hectares, a rise of 800,000 hectares year on year.