BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — Dry weather is affecting Argentina’s grain and oilseed crops as wheat nears harvest and corn and soybeans are beginning to be planted.
University of Buenos Aires Meteorologist Eduardo Sierra told Reuters on Sept. 30 that about 20% of the growing area in the Pampas farm belt has been hit hard by dry weather in recent weeks. The area grows 30% of Argentina’s wheat, 25% of its corn and 20% of its soybeans.
As a result, Sierra told Reuters he has cut his 2019-20 wheat crop forecast from 20 million tonnes to 17 million, corn production down 20% to 40 million tonnes, and soybean output down slightly to 50 million tonnes.
With the United States and China locked in a trade war, China has looked to South American countries such as Argentina for more of its soybean supply.
Earlier this month, Argentina signed a soymeal export deal with China, linking the world’s biggest international supplier of soymeal with the world’s biggest consumer of the livestock feed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Argentina’s 2019-20 soybean production at 53 million tonnes, down from 55.3 million the previous year. It also projects a slight decrease for corn at 50 million tonnes, down from 51 million in 2018-19, and wheat up slightly to 20.5 million tonnes.