Argies Look To Cash In On Russian Misfortune

Argie wheat growers are overdue a slice of fortune, after two years of sharply reduced production due to drought and internal squabbling with the government took them from hero to zero on the international export stage.

A crop of 18.6 MMT in 2007/08 saw Argentina export of 11.2 MMT of wheat, comfortably sited in fifth place in world export rankings.

Two successive years of drought-affected output, and lower plantings due to growers dissatisfaction with intermittent export bans, saw production slump to around 7.5 MMT (according to just about everybody except the USDA).

However, perked up by the sight of soaring world prices, Argie farmers are said to have staged a last minute rush to plant wheat pushing the area for 2010/11 to an estimated 4.3-4.5 million hectares.

Given favourable weather between now and harvest this season's crop could reach 13-13.5 MMT, and increase of as much as 80% on last year.