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Informa drops SA crop estimates

04/04/2012 @ 11:48am

Private analytical firm Informa Economics on Wednesday cut its outlook for Brazil and Argentina soybean harvests, according to traders.

Informa lowered its forecast for soybean output in Brazil, the world's second-largest producer of the oilseed, as March weather was mostly a continuation of the unfavorable pattern that put stress on soybeans in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul since January.

The closely watched agricultural forecaster cut its estimate for Brazil's soybean crop to 66.5 million tons from its previous estimate of 68 million tons, traders said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month projected the crop at 68.5 million tons.

Informa also cut its forecast for Argentina's soybean output by 2.5 million tons from last month to 45 million, traders said.

Despite the early January change in the Argentina weather from a dry to a wet situation that continued through March, it was not timely enough to benefit the flowering/filling soybeans, traders said Informa reported in the estimates.

Argentina's crop production is important to global agricultural markets as it is also the world's third-largest soybean exporter, and the leading exporter of soy products.

Informa forecast Brazil corn production at 62 million tons, unchanged from its previous estimate.

Informa pegged corn production in Argentina, the world's second-largest corn exporter, at 22 million tons, down 0.5 million from its previous estimate. The USDA's March estimate was 22 million tons.

Informa pegged world cotton production at 123.8 million bales, up 291,000 from last month, traders said. Informa's reduced production forecast in China by 500,000 bales was offset by an increase of 600,000 bales in Pakistan, Informa noted in the report according to traders.

The USDA is scheduled to release updated figures on Tuesday April 10, at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Informa also pegged U.S. winter wheat production at 1.631 billion bushels, up 138 million from last year.

Hard red winter wheat production is forecast to total 979 million bushels, 199 million above last year. Hard red winter wheat yields are forecast to average 40.6 bushels per acre, 4.2 bushels above last year, traders said.

Soft red winter wheat production is forecast to total 427 million bushels, with a projected average yield of 58.9 bushels per acre, traders said. Informa's white wheat production is forecast to total 225 million bushels, 31 million bushels below last year, traders said.

-By Andrew Johnson Jr., Dow Jones Newswires; 312-347-4604; andrew.johnsonjr@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 04, 2012 12:31 ET (16:31 GMT)

DJ Informa Cuts Brazil, Argentina Soybean Crop Estimates->copyright

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