New Delhi — Corn planting in Argentina was at 1.83 million hectares in the week ended Wednesday, or 28.7% of the projected 6.4 million ha (15.8 million acres) for the 2019-20 season, according to the latest weekly report published by the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.
This was slightly below 1.9 million ha during the same period last year. In the 2018-19 season, the total corn acreage in Argentina was estimated at 6.3 million hectares.
Although many parts of the country have received good rains over the last week, corn planting continued to lag due to lack of sufficient rains in the western regions of the country. However, the exchange said that better rains are expected in the coming days in these areas.
Uncertainty over the agriculture export policies ahead of the Presidential elections in Argentina and delay in rains are likely to make farmers hesitant about the choice of crop this year, analysts said.
"The elections here are on October 27 and based on who wins many producers will decide whether to sow soy or corn. So, next month we will see. But its true that it is a possibility to increase soybean and decrease corn," Matias Mihura, an analyst with the exchange told Platts last week.
Farmers may opt for soybean if weather conditions do not improve as the input costs are cheaper than soybean.
In Argentina, early corn is normally planted in September-October and harvested in April-May, while the second corn crop is usually planted in early December through January and harvested in June-July. Roughly 50% is early planted corn and 50% late corn, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Argentina is one of the largest corn producers and the world's third-largest exporter. Argentina produced a record 48 million mt of corn in 2018-19, according to the exchange.
Argentina's corn exports have been surging on the back of a bumper crop, with shipments at 25.7 million mt in March-September compared with 15.3 million mt during the same period last year.
Argentina is expected to export 33.5 million mt of corn in 2019-20 (October-September), compared with the estimate of 32 million mt for 2018-19, according to the latest report published by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
-- Mugunthan Kesavan, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, email@example.com