Months of severe drought conditions across Argentina’s soybean and corn growing areas forced the USDA to slash its production estimates for a third consecutive month and closely align with what Gro has been predicting since the start of the growing season in December.
In its March WASDE report, the USDA cut its production estimates for Argentina soybeans by 20% from the agency’s February projections and its corn output figures by 15%. Since December, the USDA has slashed Argentina’s production outlook by 27% for corn and by 33% for soybeans.
Gro’s Argentina Yield Forecast Models have for months signaled corn and soybean production would be sharply lower than USDA estimates. Argentina is the world's largest soybean meal exporter and second-largest corn exporting country.
Gro’s vegetative health index for Argentina’s soybean crop is the lowest for this century, while the Gro Drought Index is close to a two-decade high, as shown in this display from Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture. Growing conditions for Argentina’s corn crop are equally challenging, as shown in this display.
Argentina’s weak soybean production helped pull down USDA estimates for 2022/23 global soybean ending stocks by 2% from its February projection. Helping to offset Argentina’s weak output is an expected bumper soybean crop in Brazil, as Gro wrote about here. The USDA left unchanged its estimates for Brazil’s soybean and corn production.
For the US, the USDA lowered its estimates for soybean ending stocks to a seven-year low as exports were revised slightly higher. US soybean exports have outpaced historical trends since last fall, as shown in this Gro display. By contrast, US corn exports have been sluggish for months, and the USDA reduced its export estimates by 4%.
Gro’s US Soybean Monitor and US Corn Monitor contain supply and demand balance sheets for the two commodities. They also display crop yield forecasts and growing conditions once the season gets underway.