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Country Briefs

  Argentina

Reference Date: 19-May-2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Maize crop output in 2017 anticipated at record level

  2. Maize exports in 2017/18 marketing year forecast at all-time high

  3. Yellow maize and wheat prices relatively stable in April

Maize production in 2017 anticipated at record level

Harvesting of the 2017 maize crop, expected to conclude in June, is well underway. However, some delays have been reported as increased rainfall levels prompted farmers to first harvest the soybean crop. Despite these delays, the pace of the harvest is higher relative to the same time last year, 35 percent versus 10 percent less during the first ten days of May in 2016. The 2017 maize crop is anticipated to reach record levels at 45 million tonnes. Higher domestic prices and strong export demand have led to record level sowings. Planting of the 2017 wheat crop will not begin until June and early expectations are that sowings will remain close to last year’s good level sustained by strong export demand and robust local prices, which continued to be supported by the weak local currency.

Maize exports in 2017/18 marketing year forecast at all-time high

Reflecting the expected record 2017 maize output as well as competitive prices in US dollar terms, maize exports in the 2017/18 marketing year (March/February) are forecast to reach 26 million tonnes, a new high. Ample supplies from the recent harvest and high regional demand, are expected to drive wheat exports for the 2016/17 marketing year (December/November) to 11.3 million tonnes, 19 percent above last year’s high level.

Yellow maize and wheat prices relatively stable in April

In April, some harvest delays due to heavy rains prevented the expected seasonal decrease in yellow maize prices, which were nevertheless lower than the high levels a year earlier after declining sharply in the past two months on expectations of a record output. Wheat and wheat flour prices remained relatively unchanged in April, but were significantly higher than at the same time last year due to strong exports, sustained by currency weakness and Government’s measures, particularly the modification of export rebates at the beginning of the year.