The U.S. ag attache in Argentina sees wheat and corn acreage for the 2012-13 season declining from the current year. The attache expects a smaller wheat crop of 12 million metric tons (MMT) in 2012-13 due to lower acreage, but expects a recovery in corn production to 23.6 MMT after this year's drought.
"Although it is still too early, the current wet autumn and forecasts of El Nino for the end of the year, which in this area means rainfall above average, could result in good (corn) yields. Harvested area for the current crop (2011-12) which is now beginning to be harvested is at 3.6 million hectares, but with many fields which were lost or finally chopped for animal feed," says the attache, adding, "Increasing production and freight costs, lower returns, limited and costly credit, higher cost of production vis-a-vis soybeans, a bad result in the past crop, and government controls on the corn market are expected to discourage plantings."
Regarding the 2011-12 corn crop, the attache says there is a lot of uncertainty on the total area to be harvested and its output as expected yields will be very variable. The attache left its 2011-12 corn crop estimate unchanged at 21.8 MMT.
The attache expects corn exports in 2012-13 to be close to the current year at 15 MMT. Wheat exports for 2012-13 are expected at 6.2 MMT, the second lowest in the past 15 years due to smaller production.