Despite heavy frost, a wheat harvest above 19 MMT is still expected

(Photo: some pics taken by farmers in the South of Buenos Aires Province)

Buenos Aires, December 10th. The images of frozen wheat in the South of the Buenos Aires Province are hard. In the national most productive region of this cereal, farmers lament total losses in some cases or losses from 50 to 90% of the expected harvest in others. This weekend one farmer viralized a video showing how a 100 hectares plot was completely affected by the frost of December 7th.

But, how can frost affect the national harvest? In October, the analysts from Agricultural secretariat estimated a record harvest around 20.1 million metric tons. Apart to breaking the 20 MMT magic roof, this volume pushed the national grain harvest to a new record. But some frosts and heavy rains during November cut the official estimation to 19.7 MMT.

Meanwhile, private estimations are not so optimistic. Analysts from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BCBA as its Spanish acronym) reduced wheat harvest to 19.2 MMT from original 19.7 million, in its last report of December 6th.

This website consulted Mr. Martin López, senior analyst of estimations at the BCBA, about if the latest frosts could decrease the harvest expectation once again. “We are studying the facts and we’ll release our next report Thursday 13th, but I can anticipate that these frosts were not so harmful as the October and November did. Of course, some farmers were severy affected by them, but we don’t think that these frosts will go to have a significant impact in the national harvest volume”, López told to

The analyst commented that satellite images don’t provide so good information when frosts it treats, to determinate the area affected. “In the other hand, farmers are collecting good to excellent yields in large areas of the country; this could compensate for any additional loss”, López added.

According to the latest BCBA report, 44% of the national wheat area is already harvested. Starting in the North of the country, during the current month the harvest will advance to the South where agroecological conditions are optimal for the wheat.

Some local media took note about the unexpected frosts and published that a lower harvest around 18 MMT could be expected. This shocked the Governmental optimism and its hope to reach a new record harvest.

But the rising of the wheat prices in the local futures market, to 205 US$/ton for the January position could be indicating that the market is managing a worse scenario that private and official analysts did.

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