Argentina’s drought has become “critical” in almost all of the country’s northern oilseed and grain growing regions, with risks to crop forecasts for soybeans and sunflower seed, industry researcher Oil World said.
Center and northern Santa Fe province is experiencing the worst drought in 50 years, affecting about 24.7 million acres, Hamburg-based Oil World wrote in an e-mailed report.
Soybeans slipped about 8 percent this year in Chicago on an outlook for bigger crops in the U.S. and Brazil. World output of the oilseed is predicted to climb to 281.3 million tons in 2013-14 from 267 million tons, according to Oil World.
“It is not yet too late for soybeans, but soybean production prospects would deteriorate considerably if the required rainfall does not occur in November and December,” Oil World wrote.
Insufficient rainfall in the next four to eight weeks would mean not all planned soybeans are planted and would create unfavorable conditions for early growth, Oil World said. That would mean the researcher’s forecast for Argentina soybean production to rise to 53 million tons from 48.5 million tons in 2012-13 would have to be cut, it said.
Sunflower planting in Argentina reached 240,000 hectares as of Oct. 10 compared with 600,000 hectares at the same time last year, Oil World said. Planting will be 1.5 million hectares at most, the lowest in 30 years and 300,000 hectares less than intended, the researcher said.
“Our current estimate of 3 million tons for early 2014 could finally prove optimistic unless weather conditions improve sufficiently,” Oil World said.
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