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Argentina. Wheat production is estimated at 20.5 million tons in 2021/2022

27.04.2021 16:47 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U. S. Department of Agriculture attache in The Buenos Aires, in marketing year 2021/22, wheat production is projected at a record 20.5 million tons with exports of 13.9 million tons (including wheat flour). Barley production is also forecast on an upward trend to 4.8 million tons on increased area with exports expected to rise to 3.2 million tons. Corn production is forecast at 50.0 million tons, the third largest crop in history, and exports are projected to grow to 35.0 million tons. Similarly sorghum area, production, and exports are forecast to rise with rice area and production showing positive growth trends as well.

Wheat

Production for marketing year (MY) 2021/22 is forecast at a record 20.5 million metric tons (MMT) on planted area expansion primarily in the Provinces of Cordoba and Chaco. Post forecasts acreage at 6.65 million hectares, an increase of 350,000 hectares or 5.5% from the previous year. The area increase will be limited somewhat by the expansion of barley area and farmers concern over potential government export control policies.

Given current costs and futures prices, average returns are projected at 8 percent higher than the same period last year. Although wheat futures prices increased significantly, input costs, especially for fertilizer which saw prices jump 40–50 percent from a year ago and glyphosate up 10 percent, offset some of this gain. In addition, wheat returns in MY 2020/21 will likely fall below returns for barley, a reversal from last year when wheat returns were higher, which may see farmers planting intentions favoring barley over wheat especially in the southeast of Buenos Aires province.

Exports in MY 2021/22 will depend not only on Argentinas exportable supplies and quality, but also on Australias supply status in global trade. In the past 1–2 years, Argentine wheat has been in demand in markets which Australia lost due to drought-related supply reductions. MY 2021/22 forward wheat contracts through February 2021 total 770,000 metric tons, significantly lower than 4.7 MMT in the same period a year ago (MY 2020/21).

Wheat flour exports in MY 2021/22 are forecast at approximately 600,000 metric tons, the equivalent of roughly 800,000 metric tons of wheat. Bolivia and Brazil are expected to be the main markets, followed by Chile.

Wheat exports for MY 2020/21 are estimated at 11.0 MMT, including flour. Through March 2021, exporters have declared 9.5 MMT of wheat exports in MY 2020/21, per official data. Most industry sources believe there will be additional sales in the next several months due to abundant stocks.

However, the government is monitoring domestic supplies in light concerns over food price inflation and has indicated it will consider limiting export licenses as a tool to protect domestic supply.

Domestic consumption for MY 2021/22 is projected at 6.4 MMT, a marginal increase over the previous two years. Wheat flour consumption is fairly stable, roughly 4 million tons a year, equivalent to 5.5 MMT of wheat. Per capita flour consumption ranges between 85–90 kilos per year. Argentina has approximately 170 flour mills with a total wheat processing capacity of 11.5 MMT. Three provinces in the main production area account for over 80 percent of the mills: Buenos Aires province with 77 mills, Cordoba province with 36 and Santa Fe province with 25. Roughly 700,000 metric tons of seed is used every year.

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