Maize planting progress picks up pace, but still lags behind.

Maize planting progress picks up pace, but still lags behind.

The low soil moisture prevents more stronger progress in the planting of grains in Argentina. The Parana River levels rise and improves the loading of ships at Upriver. How are the corn and soybean markets?

The lack of rain and low soil moisture, in the midst of a third consecutive Niña for the Argentine agribusiness, are substantially affecting the progress of soybean and corn planting—complexes that together account for 4 out of every 10 dollars that Argentina exports every year. 

The delay in maize sowing is widespread in the main production areas, although frost also hindered progress, especially in Cordoba, according to the latest weekly report of SAGyP. Moreover, in Santa Fe low temperatures slow corn development.

Meanwhile, soybean planting is slowly moving along. As detailed by GEA in its latest report, the sowing of the oilseed shows a strong delay and only a tenth of the area that was planted last year was completed so far. In this context, the SAGyP report highlights soil moisture problems in practically every department surveyed with soybean crops.

On the other hand, this week the Undersecretary of Agricultural Markets expanded the corn balance volume to 20 million tons for the 2022/23 season. This increases this volume by 10 Mil MT and allows sales of up to 18 Mil MT to be booked until the start of harvest. This is in view of the fact that once more than 90% of the equilibrium volume has been reached, further exports must be booked under the DJVE-30 regime, and consequently shipped within thirty days of the sale being made. This extension was announced last Tuesday and became effective on Wednesday at 11:00 am (LT), and by the close of Thursday, exports for more than 1.27 Mil MT of maize had already been made, totaling 10.2 Mil MT of 2022/23 corn already sold. 

Wasde week. How do the corn and soybean markets look?

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Monthly Supply and Demand Report (WASDE) came with news, but without strong changes in the grains balance sheets. On the one hand, more corn production in the United States, but lower global corn harvests. On the other hand, soybeans suffered the same fate, with a rise in estimates for the North American powerhouse and less production on a global level.

With these new USDA global balances, together with the BCR’s trend yield estimates, under current conditions Argentina could export 38 Mil MT of maize in the coming season. This would increase its share from 18% to almost 21% of world corn trade. This is particularly important in this context, as global maize exports are expected to fall by 9.5% in the 2022/23 season compared to the current season. However, it should be stressed that these estimates are preliminary and will likely vary depending on how sowing, crop condition and balance volumes evolve.


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