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ECONOMY | 06-03-2023 13:50

Drought to slash Argentina’s exports by US$20 billion, says report

Technical report by the CREA agricultural group projects soy harvest will fall 38% from last season, with maize down 30% and wheat down 37%.

A new technical report has projected that Argentina’s export revenues will fall by US$20 billion this season as a result of the severe drought and unfavourable weather conditions.

According to Agricultura de los Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola (CREA) specialists, Argentina’s drought-hit crops have been hit by a further blow with the early arrival of midsummer frosts. 

The report said that the agricultural losses had been caused by “a climate disaster that affected most of the productive regions.

"An early frost at such an unusual time, in addition to production problems, will in some cases also lead to grain quality problems,” added CREA’s agricultural coordinator Gustavo Martini.

According to a consortium of agricultural firms, the 2022/2023 soy harvest will come in at 31.2 million tonnes, 38 percent less than last season, with revenue dropping by US$11.73 billion as a result.

The maize harvest over the same period is projected to reach 38.6 million tonnes, 30 percent less than last season’s total of 55.2 million tonnes, with a resulting drop of foreign currency of almost US$5.2 billion. 

For wheat, CREA forecasts a harvest of 12.1 million tonnes, down 37 percent from the previous season, losing US$2.69 billion in foreign currency.

Moving onto less abundant crops, the 2022/2023 sunflower harvest will come in at around 3.1 million tonnes, down 12 percent from last season, missing out on US$253 million. Finally, the barley harvest will also reach 3.1 million tonnes, a year-on-year fall of 32 percent and losing US$593 million from last year’s exports/

In total, the consortium expected the total agricultural harvest to fall by 88.1 million tonnes, down 34 percent from the previous year.

CREA warned in its report that forecasts could still be revised downwards.

Argentina, an agricultural powerhouse and top exporter of soybean products, relies on commodity exports to boost its tax revenue and Central Bank reserves.

 

– TIMES/NA

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