Argentina rains help pump up soybean, corn crop forecasts

by Reuters
Thursday, 11 February 2021 13:00 GMT

By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Abundant rains in recent weeks in Argentina have lifted forecasts for soybean and corn harvests, according to a revised outlook by the Rosario grains exchange, a major boost for the grains producer amid a global food price rally.

The exchange raised its forecast for the 2020/21 soybean harvest to 49 million tonnes, versus 47 million previously, and for corn to 48.5 million tonnes from 46 million earlier, when dry conditions had raised concerns over crops.

The exchange said in the monthly report sent to Reuters early on Thursday that the rains in recent weeks had been a "turning point" in the season and banished any fears about a repeat of the 2018 drought that caused heavy crop losses.

"The specter of the 2018 productive disaster remains behind us," the exchange said in the report.

Argentina is the world's top exporter of soybean oil and meal, and the third largest of corn, but lower rainfall in recent months due to a moderate La Niña weather phenomenon had caused uncertainty over harvests from the country.

The South American nation, whose exports are dominated by farm products, is also in dire need of export dollars to refill depleted state reserves and to be able to pay off its obligations to international creditors.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)