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Argentina stays hot, dry
Whether or not they rally is anyone's guess, but make no mistake that the weather forecast for Argentina is going to be a positive fundamental factor this week for the corn and soybean markets.
As expected, we did see some rain back on Thursday in Argentina, but in most cases the best rains (that were over an inch in spots) fell in the same areas that got very nice rains for the weekend of December 18-19. I would consider the driest part of Argentina right now to be southern Cordoba, far southern Santa Fe, northern Buenos Aires and much of La Pampa, and that area largely had a half inch of rain or less back on Thursday.
Looking at the forecast, it is quite likely that there will be no rain at all over the next ten days for the bulk of the main corn and soybean growing areas of Argentina; it is very difficult at this point to specify a date in the future when a good rain will again fall there. Temperatures were rather hot over the holiday weekend, and they will be staying hot.
One place in La Pampa reached 102 degrees for their high yesterday (their third day with 100 degree heat since last Tuesday), and I would expect that several places in Argentina will reach 100 degrees or higher for today and tomorrow. It will be cooler for the rest of this week and next week, but those "cooler" temperatures will still mean highs of at least 90 degrees every day with several days with highs of 95 and higher.
More and more of the corn crop in Argentina is reaching the pollination period, so this heat and dryness is coming at a very inopportune time for their corn crop prospects. Brazil remains in good shape right now, but I am going to be keeping a close eye on their southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. That state has seen WELL above normal rainfall this month, but all of that came very early in December as not much rain has fallen over the next week to ten days. Not much rain is going to fall in that same state over the next ten days either.
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