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Country Briefs

  Argentina

Reference Date: 14-November-2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Cereal production in 2016 forecast at record level

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

  3. Yellow maize and wheat flour prices remained high in October

Cereal production in 2016 forecast at record level

Aggregate cereal production in 2016 is forecast at 63.7 million tonnes (paddy equivalent), a record level. The bumper cereal crop reflects a strong increase in maize and wheat production. The removal of export controls and the devaluation of the local currency resulted in high domestic prices which provided an incentive for farmers to increase sowings in 2016. Favourable weather conditions also benefitted crop development. The 2016 maize crop, harvested in May, has been estimated at a record 39.8 million tonnes, mainly reflecting an expansion in the harvested area. The harvest of the 2016 wheat crop is well advanced and will conclude in late December. An initial forecast points to a record output of 15 million tonnes. Barley production is anticipated to decline for a second year, as increased wheat plantings have reduced the area sown.

Planting of the 2017 maize crop is also underway. Although sowing activity has been hindered by heavy rains, field conditions are reported to be still generally favourable. Preliminary official forecasts point to an increase in area sown of 5.5 percent over last year’s high level, reflecting the prevailing local high prices and robust export demand.

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

Reflecting this year’s bumper crops 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. The estimate of wheat exports in the current 2015/16 marketing year (December/November) has been revised up reflecting high export demand and now stands at 9 million tonnes.

Yellow maize and wheat flour prices remained high in October

Prices of yellow maize increased moderately in October and reached levels more than twice of those a year earlier. Seasonal trends were exacerbated by strong exports which were sustained by a further weakening of the national currency. Prices of wheat flour remained relatively firm in October and were more than 70 percent higher year-on-year, as the further weakening of the local currency subdued the downward pressure from the 2016 wheat harvest, which has just begun.