Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 48 million tonnes of corn in the 2021/22 season, the Rosario grains exchange has said, a smaller harvest than previously estimated due to a drought and high temperatures in key farm areas last month.
The corn harvest had been expected at 56 million tonnes. The forecast for soy was also reduced to 40 million tonnes from 45 million tonnes.
Argentina is the world's second-largest corn exporter and the main global supplier of soybean oil and flour.
The dry conditions affecting southern South America have been in the eyes of global operators for weeks and are disturbing international grain prices.
"Almost 30 days have gone by without significant millimetres (rain) to help: corn continues to suffer two heat strokes that have followed each other with barely a week of respite in between," the grains exchange described in its monthly crop report.
Extreme Weather Conditions
The extreme weather has put corn planted early, which is in key stages of development, "against the ropes", while the current corn campaign will depend on the success of late corn, which is entering stages of development at the end of the austral summer, it said.
The impact of the drought and high temperatures is such that the Rosario Stock Exchange went from forecasting a record corn harvest (56 million tonnes) to estimating a campaign lower than that of the 2020/21 cycle, when 52 million tonnes were harvested.
The grains exchange also described a gloomy outlook for soybeans, which could register a drop in the planned area ofimplantation.
"December's water stress has slowed down growth, causing flower abortion, leaf burning, seedling death in the most affected areas and the abandonment of (planting) fields is beginning to be abandoned," the stock market said.
It also pointed out that of the 16.2 million hectares it foresees for soybeans, 300,000 hectares could remain unsown due to the weather.