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Argentine drought deemed over

02/08/2012 @ 10:29am

The drought testing Argentina's developing soybeans is over and prospects are looking brighter for the crop, Rosario Grain Exchange said Wednesday.

A series of storms over the past two weeks have soaked virtually all the fields in the central farm belt, the exchange said.

"The prospects for the soy crop have significantly improved," the exchange said.

However, analysts warn that the crop has already suffered some damage and that more rain will be needed through February.

Analysts are predicting 2011-12 soybean production of between 45 million and 49.5 million metric tons--well short of the record 54.5 million tons harvested in the 2009-10 season.

Argentina leads soyoil and soymeal exports and ranks third in global soybean exports. Worries over the crop has helped buoy global soybean prices in recent weeks.

Argentina is also the world's second-largest corn exporter. The corn crop has already suffered major losses with potential production down by over a third. Early in the season, many had expected production to top 30 million tons. Now, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange is predicting corn output of just 22 million tons.

Estimates for Argentina's 2011-12 crop production in million of hectares (HA) or millions of metric tons (MT) (One hectare equals 2.47 acres):

Wheat      Soy         Corn        Sunseed 
B.A. Cereals Exch    14MT       46.2MT      22MT         3.5MT 
Ag Ministry          13.4MT     48.9MT      23MT         1.8HA 
USDA                 14.5MT     50.5MT      26MT         3.2MT 
Rosario Grain Exch   13.7MT     49.5MT      21.4MT       -- 
Agritrend            --         46MT        21MT         3.3MT 
Granar               --         47.8-49MT   18.5-20.2MT  3.5MT 
Panagricola          --         45MT        21MT         -- 
Agripac              --         49MT        27MT         -- 
Lartirigoyen         --         45.5MT      18.5MT       3.4MT

Argentina's historical production in millions of metric tons, according to the USDA:

Wheat      Soy         Corn        Sunseed 
2010-11              15         49          22.5         3.6 
2009-10              9.6        54.5        22.5         2.3 
2008-09              10.1       32          15           2.9 
2007-08              18.6       46.2        22           4.65 
2006-07              16.3       48.8        22.5         --

-By Shane Romig, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6738; shane.romig@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 08, 2012 11:23 ET (16:23 GMT)

DJ Argentine Drought Over After Series Of Storms Soak Fields->copyright

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