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Argentina - Annual Wheat and Corn Report
USDA, March, 2004
Wheat production is forecast to increase slightly in Marketing Year (MY) 2004/05, up 6 percent from the previous marketing year. Total wheat production is forecast at 14.3 million metric tons (MT). Corn, is expected to remain stable. Production for these commodities for MY 2005/06 is 12.5 million MT. Total MY 2004/05 domestic corn consumption is forecast at 4.1 million MT. Wheat and wheat product exports are expected to continue increasing, as are rice exports. Corn exports, however, are expected to be stable or down slightly. Anticipating yields equal to the five-year average of 2.384 metric tons/hectare (MT/Ha), Post forecasts MY 2004/05 production at 14.3 million metric tons (MT). Harvested area is expected to increase slightly from last year’s lower than expected area, a result of drought. Post forecasts Marketing Year (MY) 2004/05 (December – November) harvested area at 6 million Ha; up from MY 2003/04 estimated 5.7 million Ha.

Overall, MY 2003/04 harvest had good results. The major wheat producing areas (Buenos Aires Province and Southern Santa Fe Province) showed better than average yields due to rains during October – December that helped develop well-filled spikes. The absence of disease, which affected MY 2002/03 production, also helped production in this area. These higher yields offset losses from drought in other parts of the country.

Post forecasts MY 2004/05 domestic consumption at 5.2 million MT, unchanged from the previous year. Seed use is forecast to be approximately 720,000 MT (120 kg/Ha).

Post estimates MY 2003/04 domestic consumption will be flat at 5.2 million MT. An increase in domestic consumption is not probable as demand for wheat products (bread, cookies, pastas) is relatively inelastic. As income changes, the Argentine consumer does not change his overall consumption of wheat products, although the composition of consumption may change; i.e. he may substitute pasta for bread or vice versa.

According to statistics published by the Argentine Secretariat of Agriculture, 5.135 million tons of wheat was milled for flour and feed in MY 2002/03. Durum wheat accounted for only 3 percent of total wheat milled. Wheat milled for feed (durum and common) in MY 2002/03 totaled approximately 4,300 MT, down significantly from 27,300 MT in MY 2001/02. The availability of cheaper soy meal for animal feed is one factor that led to the decrease in use of wheat in feed.

Of the total wheat milled in MY 02/03, 703,000 MT of flour, pasta, and pre-mix (wheat equivalent) was exported. Seed use is estimated at 708,000 MT (120 kg/Ha). Total domestic consumption for MY 2002/2003 is estimated at 5.14 million MT.

Post forecasts MY 2004/05 exports will continue in an upward trend as exporters look to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate. Post forecasts MY 2004/05 exports at 9 million MT. Brazil will continue to be the primary export destination for wheat products, especially bakery pre-mixes (see Policy section).

According to NOSIS, a private source, wheat and wheat product exports totaled 6.68 million MT (wheat equivalent) in MY 02/03. The following is a breakdown of wheat and wheat product exports in MY 02/03.
MGR Archive 17.3.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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