Argentina Rain to Relieve Corn, Soybean Crops After Dry Week

Argentine soybean and corn farmers are expecting rain this week that will relieve crops after months of dry weather, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said.

Parts of the main crop-growing region received rain in the last 24 hours, following five days without precipitation, said Maximiliano Zavala, a forecaster at the exchange. More showers are expected Feb. 16 through Feb. 18, he said.

Rain is restoring soil moisture for crops in Argentina after months of dry weather caused by the La Nina weather pattern, which also led to drought in parts of Brazil and Mexico. Corn and soybeans planted later in the season are benefiting from the rain, while damage to the grain sowed at the beginning of the season is irreversible, he said. Corn planting runs from August to January, with soybean sowing taking place September through February.

“The situation for the crops has improved, above all in terms of soil conditions,” Zavala said by telephone from Buenos Aires today. “Rain is expected for the rest of February and for March. The situation is much better than it was a month or so ago.”

Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.9 percent to $6.37 a bushel at 1:03 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for May rose 0.4 percent to $12.65 a bushel.

Corn harvesting starts in February and runs through August, while soybeans are harvested February through June. The soybean crop was fully planted, with corn sowing almost complete, as of Feb. 9, the cereals exchange said.

Argentina is the second-biggest corn exporter after the U.S., and the third-biggest soybean shipper after the U.S. and Brazil.

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