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October 16, 2019

2019/20 Argentina Corn being Planted at about Average Pace

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

Farmers in Argentina had planted 24.2% of their corn by late last week, which is up 3.6% for the week, but it now trails last year by 2.7%. The most advanced corn planting is in the core regions where it is 65-80% planted. Corn planting in the province of Entre Rios is also advanced at 62% planted. In southern Argentina, the corn is 10-20% planted and very little corn has been planted in far northern Argentina. The corn thus far is rated 12.5% poor, 56% fair, and 31.5% good. The soil moisture is rated 38% short to very short and 16% optimum to surplus.

The weather has been Ok in central and eastern Argentina, but it continues to be dryer than normal in western and southwestern Argentina. In parts of southern Buenos Aires, La Pampa, southern Santa Fe, and southern Cordoba, they have received only 15-25% of their normal rainfall over the past two months.

It is currently too dry to risk planting corn in parts of southern and western Argentina so farmers may wait for more rain and then switch some of their intended corn acreage to soybeans instead. Normally by the end of October, the corn is approximately 35% planted in Argentina.

The problem for corn in Argentina is not just weather related, but it is also related to economic and political turmoil. In fact, the Rosario Grain Exchange lowered their estimate of the 2019/20 Argentina corn production last week from 50.0 million tons to 47.5 million tons.

They cited the strong prospect that the opposition candidate, Alberto Fernandez and his vice-presidential candidate Mrs. Kirchner, could win the presidential election On October 27th. If they assume power, it is widely expected that they will increase export taxes and resume governmental interference in the export market, especially for corn. Mrs. Kirchner's history has been to force more corn to stay within the country in order to lower feed costs and thus hold down food inflation. As a result, farmers received less for their corn than if they had been allowed to export the corn.