ARGENTINA (22 June)
Relatively dry weather favoured harvesting of the 1999 coarse grains crops. By early June, about 85 percent of the area planted to maize had been harvested, compared to 75 percent the year before. Latest official forecasts indicate a maize output of around 13.7 million tonnes, some 5.7 million tonnes below last year’s record but still about average. The decline largely reflects decreased plantings, as a result of unattractive prices to producers, and lower than normal yields because of reduced farm inputs. In contrast, above- average sorghum production is anticipated. Due to excellent paddy yields a record 1.6 million tonnes is currently forecast. Higher production also reflects increased plantings due to expanding exports.
Sowing of the 1999 wheat crop has started in some parts, particularly in the southern areas of Buenos Aires province. Intended plantings should improve from 1998 low level, but should still remain below the last 5-year average as farmers seem to be attracted by other more profitable crops.
BOLIVIA (22 June)
Planting of the 1999 wheat winter crop continues under dry weather in the eastern Department of Santa Cruz. Slightly increased plantings from last year are provisionally estimated as soil moisture is considered adequate due to previous heavy rains. Harvesting is due from September and an above-average output is forecast. Harvesting of the 1999 main season maize and barley crops continues and a significant recovery, particularly of maize is anticipated. Production of maize is forecast to be an above-average 646 000 tonnes.
Harvesting of the 1998/99 main potato crop is almost complete and about 730 000 tonnes are provisionally estimated compared to 495 000 tonnes the previous year.
BRAZIL (22 June)
Planting of the 1999 wheat crop continues under relatively dry conditions. The area planted is forecast to increase from last year’s average level. This is largely due to Government measures to improve domestic production and reduce imports following the country’s currency devaluation. Harvesting of the 1999 first (main) season maize crop is near completion, while planting of the second season crop in the southern states is well advanced. Aggregate output for both crops is expected to be an average 32.4 million tonnes, compared to the 29.3 million tonnes produced last year, during which crops were affected by El Niño. Harvesting of paddy is near completion and output is provisionally estimated at a near record 11.4 million tonnes.
CHILE (22 June)
Harvesting of the 1999 maize crop is near completion and production is estimated at 635 000 tonnes compared to 945 000 tonnes in 1997/98. This is due to severe drought. The barley crop was also affected and about 86 000 tonnes are provisionally estimated compared to 115 000 tonnes last year.
Planting of the 1999/2000 wheat crop is about to start under generally dry conditions, except for parts in the north. An increase in planting is anticipated providing normal rains resume.
COLOMBIA (22 June)
Planting of the 1999/2000 first (main) coarse grains crop, principally maize, is near completion. Harvesting is due from September and early forecasts indicate that production should decrease from last year’s 1.2 million tonnes to an average 1 million tonnes. This is the result of heavy rains and flooding which affected the crops at planting. Sowing of the 1999 paddy crop is complete, for harvest from August, and the area planted is estimated to be about average. To meet domestic demand, however, about 350 000 tonnes to 400 000 tonnes will need to be imported in the 2000 marketing year (January/December).
ECUADOR (22 June)
Harvesting of the 1999 maize crop (white and yellow) is underway and the bulk of the harvesting operations are expected to take place between May and August. Despite heavy rains and flooding in coastal areas at planting, aggregate output is expected to recover from last year’s El Niño affected crop to a near average 588 000 tonnes. Harvesting of the 1999 paddy crop is well advanced and output is forecast to be an average 1.2 million tonnes.
GUYANA (2 June)
Adequate rains have benefited the development of the 1999 paddy crop. Harvesting is near completion and output is provisionally estimated at some 600 000 tonnes. This represents a recovery from last year’s El Niño affected crop.
PARAGUAY (2 June)
Planting of the 1999 wheat crop is underway and average plantings are anticipated. Harvesting of the 1999 maize crop is complete and an above-average 860 000 tonnes has been produced.
PERU (2 June)
Harvesting of the 1999 wheat crop is underway. Output is anticipated to be slightly below-average due to lower plantings. Harvesting of the maize crop (yellow and white) continues and production is expected to be lower than last year’s record, but nevertheless remains slightly above average. Harvesting of the paddy crop is underway and production in the first three months is estimated at about 405 000 tonnes compared to 262 000 tonnes the year before. A bumper crop of some 1.6 million tonnes is expected. This largely reflects increased plantings in response to expanding exports, possibly to neighbouring countries, coupled with favourable weather conditions.
SURINAME (3 June)
Paddy harvesting is near completion. The crop has benefited from adequate rains and output is provisionally estimated at an average 225 000 tonnes.
URUGUAY (20 June)
Harvesting of the 1999 maize crop is complete and output is estimated at an average 151 000 tonnes. Harvesting of paddy has also been completed and a bumper crop of 1.2 million tonnes is estimated.
Land is being prepared for planting of the 1999/2000 wheat crop and plantings are expected to increase from last year’s low level, when the crops were affected by adverse weather.
VENEZUELA (20 June)
Normal rains benefited planting of 1999 maize and the area planted is expected to be about average. Paddy harvesting is complete and output is estimated at about 673 000 tonnes, similar to 1998 and slightly below average.