Highlights

Argentine wheat production for the 2017/18 season is forecast at 16.65 million tons, 850,000 tons lower than USDA as Post estimates a smaller area. This will lower exportable supplies. Post estimates barley area at 750,000 hectares, slightly lower than USDA, and production at 2.8 million tons, 200,000 tons lower than USDA. Post forecasts corn production for 2017/18 at 40.5 million tons, slightly higher than USDA because of a larger production area. Corn is currently the most profitable crop for many producers. Exports are expected at 29.5 million tons, 1.0 million tons higher than USDA. Sorghum exports for 2017/18 and 2016/17 seasons are expected to be small. Rice acreage in 2017/18 is forecast at 190,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares lower than USDA. This will lower production and exports for rice.

Wheat:Post projects wheat harvested area for crop 2017/18 at 5.2 million hectares, lower than USDA’s. This difference is the result of Post having a smaller 2016/17 crop area and the expectation that 100-150,000 hectares, primarily located in the southwest and southeast of Buenos Aires province, may not be planted due to excess rain which affected soils and/or roads. Planting in this region is delayed. Wheat planting in the country is almost 90 percent complete. Post projects wheat production at 16.65 million tons, 850,000 tons lower than the official number due primarily to a lower area. Most contacts indicate that the crops in general are in good condition and farmers are using good technology.

Post’s estimate for 2016/17 harvested area is lower than USDA’s by 300,000 hectares, but production is increased to 17.5 million metric tons, 500,000 tons higher than USDA. There is a significant difference with average yields, which in the central part of the country were record high. This area covers a little less than 3 million hectares. Yields in the southeast of Buenos Aires, a very important wheat area due to the number of hectares and its high quality wheat, were lower than normal because of weather problems. However, this area is covered by about half a million hectares. Local analysts estimate wheat production for crop 2016/17 between 16.0-18.0 million tons.

Wheat exports in 2017/18 are forecast at 10.5 million tons, 1.0 million tons lower than USDA’s. This is a direct consequence of Post estimating lower wheat output than USDA. Roughly half of the exports are expected to be shipped early in the marketing season to South East Asian markets and to North African countries. The other half would be shipped to Brazil, which many traders believe will have to increase its imports due to a crop affected by recent weather problems in Parana, where there was too much rain followed by harsh frosts. Shipments to Brazil are duty free (as members of Mercosur) and enjoy logistical advantages because of the close proximity. Farmer selling of 2017/18 crop is extraordinarily high, with reported volumes of over 2.5 million tons to date.

Through July 2017, Argentina is expected to ship approximately 9.5 million tons of wheat in marketing year 2016/17. Exports during the next few months normally slow down as Brazil begins to harvest its wheat crop, the same as Paraguay which naturally also exports to its neighbor. Some traders are speculating that the final export volume (including flour) for the current crop year could be somewhat closer to 11.5 million tons. There could be some shipments to Algeria over the next few months.

Barley: Post estimates barley harvested area for 2017/18 at 750,000 hectares, somewhat lower than USDA. As in wheat, the southern part of Buenos Aires province has been affected by excess rain in the past months, limiting the possibility of some farmers to plant barley. A smaller area sets Post’s expected production 200,000 tons lower than USDA’s volume, with a negative impact on exports of 100,000 tons lower than the official forecast. Of the total, 800-900,000 tons are expected to be malting barley while the balance would be feed barley. Post projects total domestic consumption for 2017/18 at 1.2 million tons, 100,000 tons lower than USDA. Malt exports to the region, especially Brazil, are quite slow as beer demand in that country has dropped. The use of barley for animal feed in the local market is expected to be small as producers are expected to use less expensive feed alternatives.

Barley harvested area in 2016/17 is estimated at 820,000 hectares, somewhat lower than USDA official area. However, total production is unchanged. Local traders estimate total barley exports for the current crop at 2.5 million tons, of which 900,000 tons would be malting barley and the balance feed barley. Larger-than-expected exports limited the supply of barley as feed in the local market. Post estimates barley total domestic consumption in 2016/17 at 1.2 million tons, 100,000 tons higher than USDA.

Corn:Post forecasts Argentina’s corn crop area for marketing year 2017/18 at 5.2 million hectares, 300,000 hectares higher than USDA. Most contacts believe that planted area will increase between 5-10 percent from last year, as corn, in many areas of the country is the best economic alternative. The investment in dollars per hectare is more than 60 percent higher than planting soybeans, but many producers, who most are in a good financial situation, will prefer to continue to recover their area with corn and go back to a crop rotation scheme which is more sustainable. In the past decade, soybeans were the preferred crop by far, with many producers planting them year after year. The rapid expansion of weeds resistant to the agricultural chemicals normally used in the recent past is also a key factor that encourages producers to incorporate more corn. Also, after three rainy years in a row, soils in vast areas in the production region have excess humidity, with very high water tables which in most cases provides a very good start for corn production.

Post forecasts corn production in marketing year 2017/18 at 40.5 million tons, 500,000 tons higher than USDA. Post projects a larger harvested area, while USDA forecasts a higher average yield.

Farmers are expected to continue to use good technology in their corn fields, with high quality hybrids, a larger use of fertilizers and new crop protection strategies to overcome more aggressive diseases and weeds. Second corn crop continues to expand (it already accounts for more than 50 percent of the country’s corn crop). Also corn planted with low plant density is gaining popularity, especially in more fragile environments.

Post forecasts Argentine corn exports in 2017/18 at 29.5 million tons, 1.0 million tons higher than USDA. This is as a result of a larger expected crop and lower domestic consumption which would provide a bigger export surplus than what USDA currently reports. Post projects total corn domestic consumption at 11.2 million tons, 600,000 tons lower than USDA. Many analysts believe the local economy will continue to grow 2-4 percent in 2018. Most livestock sectors are growing, except for the dairy sector which is in a crisis and many operations have closed in the past couple of years. The final export volume will also depend on the farmer selling and the stocks producers decide to keep from one marketing year to the other. In general, local farmers are in a good financial situation and it is normal for them to keep stocks (typically in silo bags at the farm). It could well happen that by late February 2019 they decide to keep larger stocks which will directly impact negatively on exports.

Corn production for marketing year 2016/17 is set at 40.5 million tons, just below USDA’s. Yields have been incredibly high in many parts of the country, which in most cases were record. Productivity in the center-north of Argentina was very good thanks to the combination of good soil humidity and rains with better technology. During the development of the crop many producers increased their yield expectations 3-4 times. The harvest is currently around 70 percent, finishing with the last fields of late planted corn. Cordoba province and the Northern provinces still have several more weeks to go. Due to the same reasons as in marketing year 2017/18, Post expects domestic corn use to be at 10.7 million tons, 300,000 tons lower than USDA. Corn exports are raised to 28.0 million tons, 500,000 tons higher than USDA as Post expects a lower domestic consumption and a somewhat lower ending stock.

Sorghum:Exports in marketing year 2017/18 are projected at 500,000 tons, 100,000 tons lower than USDA.

Exports in 2016/17 are lowered to 200,000 tons (exports in March-May 2017 totaled 64,000 tons). Traders indicate that foreign buyers are substituting sorghum by other feed alternatives. Sorghum production for marketing year 2016/17 is estimated at 3.3 million tons, 200,000 tons lower than USDA’s official number as Post estimates a lower average yield.

Rice:Harvested area for marketing year 2017/18 is forecast at 190,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares lower than USDA. Most contacts coincide in that due to excess rain in Corrientes there will be several thousand hectares which will not be able to be planted. The preparation of fields in general is delayed due to the excess rain. Also, returns are very slim, and therefore, some small and medium producers are expected to stop producing rice especially in Entre Rios province. There, most producers have the possibility of producing other crops. A smaller area will negatively impact on the expected output, which Post estimates at 800,000 tons (milled base), 80,000 tons lower than USDA. A lower output most likely will impact negatively on Argentine rice exports, which Post sets at 400,000 tons, slightly below USDA.

Wheat

Wheat

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

Market Begin Year

Dec 2015

Dec 2016

Dec 2017

Argentina

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

3945

3945

5200

4900

5600

5200

Beginning Stocks

4804

4804

616

616

521

721

Production

11300

11300

17000

17500

17500

16650

MY Imports

12

12

5

5

10

10

TY Imports

3

3

15

15

10

10

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

16116

16116

17621

18121

18031

17381

MY Exports

9600

9600

11200

11500

11500

10500

TY Exports

8750

8750

12000

12300

11500

10500

Feed and Residual

200

200

100

100

100

100

FSI Consumption

5700

5700

5800

5800

5900

5900

Total Consumption

5900

5900

5900

5900

6000

6000

Ending Stocks

616

616

521

721

531

881

Total Distribution

16116

16116

17621

18121

18031

17381

Yield

2.8644

2.8644

3.2692

3.5714

3.125

3.2019

Barley

Barley

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

Market Begin Year

Dec 2015

Dec 2016

Dec 2017

Argentina

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

1250

1250

870

820

800

750

Beginning Stocks

340

340

603

603

203

203

Production

4940

4940

3300

3300

3000

2800

MY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

5280

5280

3903

3903

3203

3003

MY Exports

3077

3077

2600

2500

1700

1600

TY Exports

2836

2836

2600

2500

1800

1700

Feed and Residual

500

500

100

150

200

100

FSI Consumption

1100

1100

1000

1050

1100

1100

Total Consumption

1600

1600

1100

1200

1300

1200

Ending Stocks

603

603

203

203

203

203

Total Distribution

5280

5280

3903

3903

3203

3003

Yield

3.952

3.952

3.7931

4.0244

3.75

3.7333

Corn

Corn

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

Market Begin Year

Mar 2016


Mar 2017


Mar 2018


Argentina

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

3500

3700

4900

4900

4900

5200

Beginning Stocks

2898

2898

1061

1561

3566

3366

Production

29000

29500

41000

40500

40000

40500

MY Imports

5

5

5

5

5

5

TY Imports

2

2

5

5

5

5

TY Imp. from U.S.

1

1

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

31903

32403

42066

42066

43571

43871

MY Exports

21642

21642

27500

28000

28500

29500

TY Exports

21678

21678

26500

27500

27500

28500

Feed and Residual

5900

5900

7300

7000

8000

7300

FSI Consumption

3300

3300

3700

3700

3800

3900

Total Consumption

9200

9200

11000

10700

11800

11200

Ending Stocks

1061

1561

3566

3366

3271

3171

Total Distribution

31903

32403

42066

42066

43571

43871

Yield

8.2857

7.973

8.3673

8.2653

8.1633

7.7885

Rice, Milled

Rice, Milled

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

Market Begin Year

Apr 2016


Apr 2017


Apr 2018


Argentina

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

208

207

204

200

200

190

Beginning Stocks

529

529

398

367

206

207

Milled Production

910

819

863

845

880

800

Rough Production

1400

1260

1328

1300

1354

1231

Milling Rate (.9999)

6500

6500

6500

6500

6500

6500

MY Imports

5

5

5

5

5

5

TY Imports

5

5

5

5

5

5

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

1444

1353

1266

1217

1091

1012

MY Exports

526

526

550

550

450

400

TY Exports

527

527

550

550

450

400

Consumption and Residual

520

460

510

460

520

460

Ending Stocks

398

367

206

207

121

152

Total Distribution

1444

1353

1266

1217

1091

1012

Yield (Rough)

6.7308

6.087

6.5098

6.5

6.77

6.4789

Sorghum

Sorghum

Market Begin Year

Mar 2016

Mar 2018

Mar 2017

Argentina

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

750

750

700

700

760

760

Beginning Stocks

971

971

952

952

952

952

Production

3375

3375

3500

3300

3500

3500

MY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

4346

4346

4452

4252

4452

4452

MY Exports

494

494

400

200

600

500

TY Exports

772

772

400

200

600

500

Feed and Residual

2500

2500

2700

2700

2500

2700

FSI Consumption

400

400

400

400

400

400

Total Consumption

2900

2900

3100

3100

2900

3100

Ending Stocks

952

952

952

952

952

852

Total Distribution

4346

4346

4452

4252

4452

4452

Yield

4.5

4.5

5

4.7143

4.6053

4.6053