Drought risk not over for Argentina

Water is scarce in 50% of the core growing region
calendar icon 2 February 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Argentina may have left the worst of its summer drought behind, but the risk of dry weather to the country's crops remains real, the Rosario grains exchange said in its latest weather analysis.

The South American grains producer, the world's No. 1 exporter of processed soy and the second for corn, was hit hard by drought from December until mid-January, when a fortnight of rains helped limit losses to crop yields and improve conditions, reported Reuters.

"Are we leaving the drought behind? From the climatic point of view, the answer is clear: yes, the situation was resolved with the atmospheric change of the second half of January," the Rosario exchange said in its report.

"But from the point of view of crops, no, since 50% of the core region remains with scarce (water) reserves and drought."

Reuters recently traveled to key farm regions in Buenos Aires province, where rains had helped crops recover, but farmers said they had already suffered substantial losses to crops due to the previously dry spell.

The country saw heavy rains in some areas, especially in the north west of the farm belt in the second half of January, while some agricultural zones got lower amounts of rain and were in need of more water in the coming weeks.

The Rosario exchange said that rains hoped for the first week of February looked less likely now.

"For now, no rain is expected in the coming week due to the arrival of mass of cold and dry air that will provide stable conditions," it said, adding only after next Wednesday were there signs of a more unstable weather front and clouds.

"It is not possible to guarantee that we will not experience another dry spell," Jose Luis Aiello, a weather expert and adviser to the grains exchange said in the report.

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