Argentina's wheat crop continued to remain under pressure amid growing unfavorable weather conditions, which are casting doubts of further crop loss. Wheat planting in Argentina was 100% completed in the week to Aug. 19, but recent frost conditions, with variable intensity, have hit most parts of its key wheat regions, rendering current growth conditions unfavorable for the crop, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said in its report released on Aug. 20.
The frost is expected to make crop progress difficult for Argentina's wheat, as several regions in the country have been experiencing drought conditions since March. The drought is said to be the worst in a decade.
Dry conditions have affected the northern part of Argentina the most, with wheat sown in Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces most impacted as compared with other provinces. Cordoba is expected to lose 340,000 hectares of wheat area from what was sown during the 2019 crop season.
Recently, the Rosario Stock Exchange had cut wheat planted area estimates by another 100,000 hectares, bringing overall wheat area to 6.5 million hectares, down from the previous estimate of 7 million hectares.
Rainfall is expected in northeast Argentina before Aug. 31, but most of the key agriculture regions in Argentina will receive low rainfall, according to BAGE.
Frost conditions in the week ended Aug. 16 caused damage to the center and north of Argentina's key wheat areas, which has reduced yield expectations, the BAGE said.
According to a survey, yield losses in the Northwest and Northeast Argentina are expected to rise up to 50% of the overall potential of the crop, the exchange said.
In the next few days, risk of widespread frost is expected in certain regions of Cordoba, La Pampa, Northwest Argentina and Buenos Aires, the exchange added.
Given the prolonged water deficit and frost conditions, 36% of Argentina's wheat crop is seen in fair-to-poor conditions in the week to Aug. 19, up 10 percentage points from the prior week, the BAGE said.
Rosario Stock Exchange has cut Argentina's wheat production in the 2020-21 marketing season to 18.9 million mt, down from previously estimated 22 million mt. Argentina's wheat marketing year runs from December through November. BAGE's wheat production estimates for 2020-21 stand at 21 million mt.