Argy Soy Harvest Underway

Harvesting of what is roundly expected to be a record soybean crop in Argentina this year is just about underway, although heavy rain is dogging early progress, according to the Ag Ministry.

The corn harvest which began a week or two ago is currently around 11% complete, with the sunflower harvest 40% done, the Ministry added.

The typically cagey Ministry haven't issued a soybean crop production estimate, but say that the planted area is 18.2 million hectares. The corn crop will come in at 19-21 MMT and the sunflower harvest at 2.2-2.7 MMT, they say.

A corn crop of 20 MMT would be a 59% increase on last season's 12.6 MMT and a sunflower crop of 2.5 MMT would represent a 14% reduction on last year's output of 2.9 MMT.

The USDA currently peg the soybean harvest at 53 MMT, 66% higher than the drought-ravaged 32 MMT produced in 2009. They say that the planted area was 18.8 million hectares, a clear record, and 17.5% more than the 16 million hectares planted for 2008/09. Soybean area has been increasing steadily in recent years: