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South America drought woes continue despite rain

Drought woes continue for portions of South America, especially in the major corn and soybean producing regions of Argentina. In the week-ending Nov. 19, showers did return to Argentina and Brazil, however, the heaviest rains tended to miss the important production regions of Argentina. Looking forward, there are more showers in the forecast for the week-ending Nov. 26, but the extent and substantiality of these rains looks less impressive than the previous week.

Early in the week that ended on Nov. 19, much needed rainfall arrived in South America. However, the heaviest rains broadly missed major production regions of Argentina. In regions of Brazil where full season corn is planted, this was the second driest second full week of November in over 30 years, according to data from WeatherTrends360. This was not an encouraging sign for farmers that have delayed planting of corn in hopes that rains will return. 

La Niña, which has largely been driving the drought conditions across South America, is not expected to loosen its grip until well into 2023, so the prospect of rainfall returning in a significant way over the next couple of weeks is rather dim. For some crops, the damage is already done. Argentina wheat production for the 2022-2023 season was revised down further in mid-November, according to Argentina’s economy ministry. Drought and late frosts in early spring took a toll on the crop, and harvest will pick up over the next several weeks. The unfavorable weather in South America, combined with turmoil between Russia and Ukraine, has been a source for price pressure on wheat.

In the week-ending Nov. 26, there will be another chance of early week showers in Argentina, but the balance of the week sees a return to dry conditions. The showers expected early in the week will not be as intense nor as widespread as the showers in the previous week, so drought-busting rainfall is not anticipated. According to data from WeatherTrends360, the third full week of November is expected to be the fourth driest in over 30 years for Argentina’s soybean-growing regions. The rains will fill into Brazil during the week with the heaviest rain possible across eastern Brazil.

Weather map week of November 21



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