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Country Briefs

  Argentina

Reference Date: 31-January-2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Maize crop in 2017 anticipated at bumper level

  2. Maize exports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast at all time high

  3. Yellow maize and wheat flour prices remained at high levels in January

Maize crop in 2017 anticipated at bumper level

Planting of the 2017 maize crop was concluded in mid-January. Despite heavy rains at the beginning of the sowing period, the area planted increased some 5 percent from last year’s record level to 7.25 million hectares. The increase in plantings was supported by the robust export demand as a result of a sharp devaluation of the local currency which resulted in high domestic prices. Assuming the rest of the season continues to develop normally, production of the 2017 maize crop, to be harvested from March, is anticipated at above last year’s record level.

Aggregate cereal production in 2016 has been estimated at 65.3 million tonnes, a record level. The high wheat and maize output, reflecting increased sowings as a result of high domestic prices, were responsible for the 2016 record output.

Maize exports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast at all‑time high

Reflecting the 2016 bumper crop as well as competitive prices in US dollar terms, maize exports in the 2016/17 marketing year (March/February) are forecast to reach 24 million tonnes, a record high. Reflecting ample supplies from the recent harvest and high regional demand, wheat exports for the 2016/17 marketing year (December/November) are expected to reach 8.8 million tonnes or 3.5 percent above last year’s level.

Yellow maize and wheat flour prices remained at high levels in January

Prices of yellow maize increased for a sixth consecutive month in January as seasonal trends were strengthened by a further weakening of the local currency which has resulted in high export demand. Consequently, prices were more than 60 percent above their year-earlier levels. Wheat flour prices in January were unchanged reflecting the recent harvest, but high export demand and the weak local currency maintained prices significantly above their year-earlier levels.