Argentine wheat planted area on par with last year at 6.5m ha: BAGE

Argentina’s wheat planted area for 2021/22 is expected to be at a similar level from last marketing year at 6.5...

Argentina’s wheat planted area for 2021/22 is expected to be at a similar level from last marketing year at 6.5 million hectares as dry weather has limited further expansion, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange (BAGE) said in a weekly report issued on Tuesday.

The report by BAGE came ahead of the start of wheat plantings in Argentina next month.

“A number of factors, such as a prolonged period of dry weather conditions in key production areas in Argentina, coupled with high production costs and loss of competitiveness compared with other crops have limited the possibility of an expansion in the area planted for wheat in 2021/22,” BAGE said.

BAGE added that “uncertainty regarding the 2021/22 wheat crop remains.”

While the 2021/22 area estimate will be static on the year, it will remain above the five-year average of 6.1 million ha, and if realised, it will be the fifth-largest area planted since records began.

Planting intentions this year have been boosted by farmers aiming to claw back the areas lost in the last marketing year due to drought in the central part of the country, according to the exchange.

Weather conditions in the first half of April indicate there is a strong possibility of entering the planting window with good soil irrigation levels, but further rains will be necessary to ensure adequate levels for crop planting.

Wheat has lost competitiveness in 2021 when relative to other agricultural commodities in the country – such as barley and sunseeds – which have seen a sharp increase in prices when compared to last year.

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