BUENOS AIRES, March 16 (Reuters) – Argentine corn and soy should benefit this season from high yields brought by good weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, adding that it may increase its harvest estimate above the current 54.8 million tonnes.
The South American grains powerhouse is the world’s third biggest exporter of both crops.
“After recent rains, we estimate that 70 percent of national soy area is benefiting from good to optimal soil moisture,” the exchange said in its weekly crop report.
Another 15 percent of soy area is suffering from excess ground moisture after a wet February and early March left low-lying areas flooded, it said. Overly wet areas are concentrated in Buenos Aires and Cordoba provinces, as well as marginal areas in northeastern and northwestern parts of the country.
“If the positive trend in yield expectations is strengthened over the weeks ahead, volumes at the end of the season could be higher than our current estimate,” the report said.
Argentine soy planting starts in mid-October, with harvesting ending mid-year. Corn goes into the ground in September through December. Harvesting is usually from March through July.
The report said 10 percent of the 2016-17 corn area has been brought in so far. Although harvesting machines have gotten bogged down in the wettest areas, the fields that are being harvested are showing better-than-expected yields, it added.
The exchange kept its 2016-17 corn crop estimate unchanged at 37 million tonnes.