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July 9, 2014

2014/15 Argentine Soybean and Corn Acreage and Production

With the prospects for big corn and soybean crops in the U.S. and lower commodity prices as a result, let’s take an early look at what these potential lower prices mean for the 2014/15 growing season in Argentina.

2014/15 Argentine Soybeans Estimated at 55.0 Million Tons - Farmers in Argentina have finished harvesting their 2013/14 soybean crop, but they have been very slow sellers of the crop with only about 45% of the crop sold. They will hold onto their soybeans as long as possible as a hedge against economic uncertainly including inflation and a possible devaluation of the Argentine peso.

The combination of uncertain economics and lower commodity prices are going to make Argentine farmers very cautious going into the 2014/15 planting season. At time like this, farmers tend to gravitate toward their safest crop, which for farmers in Argentina are soybeans. Therefore, I am going to estimate that farmers in Argentina will hold their soybean acreage unchanged (there might be a slight increase in soybean acreage of 1%), so I am going to use 20.0 million hectares for the 2014/15 soybean acreage in Argentina. Therefore, the 2014/15 Argentina soybean crop is estimated at 55.0 million tons or essentially unchanged from 2013/14.

2014/15 Argentine Corn Estimated at 25.0 Million Tons - The recent history for corn acreage in Argentina has been sort of “steady as she goes”, a little higher when prices are good and a little lower when prices are weak. For the last four years it has been in the range of 3.5 to 4.0 million hectares. Certainly, the corn prices going forward will not generate much enthusiasm for corn, so I would estimate the corn acreage in Argentina in 2014/15 to be unchanged from this past year.

Corn yields in Argentina have been slightly under par for the last few years. If the anticipated El Nino actually develops by the end do the year, the corn yields in Argentina could show an improvement in 2014/15. Therefore, I am going to estimate the 2014/15 corn crop in Argentina at 25.0 million tons or slightly better than in 2013/14.