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March 17, 2021

Rains May Stabilize 2020/21 Argentina Soybean Estimate

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The weather last week in Argentina was hot and dry again. The rainfall during February and the first half of March has been below normal during a critical time for the early planted soybeans. The double crop soybeans have also been negatively impacted and the double crop acreage as well as the yields may end up below initial expectations.

There were light rains over the weekend with heavier rains forecasted for early this week across much of central Argentina. There is another chance of rain later this week. If these rains verify, they could be enough to stabilize the crop. The areas where the rain is most needed is in northern La Pampa, western Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, and the southern core production area. Dry weather in northern Argentina is also becoming a concern.

The early planted soybeans were 59.7% filling pods and 8.3% mature as of late last week. The most advanced soybeans are in the southern core region where 20% of the crop is mature. The later planted soybeans were 52% setting pods and 9.3% filling pods. There have not been any soybeans harvested as yet, but there might be a few fields harvested this week.

The Argentina soybean crop was rated 31% poor/very poor, 63% fair, and 6% good /excellent late last week. The good to excellent percentage compares to 10% last week and 35% last year. The soil moisture for the soybeans was rated 47% short/very short and 53% favorable/optimum. The favorable to optimum percentage compares to 68% last week and 67% last year.

Local crop estimates in Argentina have been reduced in recent days. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange lowered their soybean estimate 2.0 million tons last week from 46.0 million tons to 44.0 million. They cited the sparse rainfall during February and early March as the reason for the lower estimate.

Last week, the Rosario Grain Exchange lowered their estimate of the 2020/21 Argentina soybean production by 4 million tons from 49.0 million to 45.0 million. They cited hot and dry conditions across important production areas as the reason for the lower estimate. The limited rainfall during February and the first two weeks of March was insufficient to maintain the yield potential. They indicated that the double crop soybeans could be particularly hard hit.

The USDA lowered their estimate of the Argentina soybeans by 0.5 million tons to 47.5 million in the March WASDE Report.