Dry weather threatens southern Brazil, eastern Argentina and many parts of Uruguay

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Dry weather across some of the major producing regions in South America is putting upward pressure on corn and soybean prices at the start the new year. Dryness is expected to continue through the short term across southern Brazil and especially in the main-producing states in Argentina and Uruguay.

Uruguay’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fishing (MGAP) declared a state of emergency for 90 days in about 6.4 million hectares amid an intense drought that affects over 4.000 families.

According to the authorities, the most affected areas are the departments of Artigas, Salto, Paysandú, Río Negro, Durazno, Tacuarembó, Maldonado, Rocha, Lavalleja, and Canelones.

The MGAP reported that there are 4 million livestock units in the region hardest-hit by the water shortage. Moreover, there were plans of use for about 600.000 hectares during Autumn-Winter and Spring-Summer, respectively.

In Brazil for the seven days ending January 10, 2021, precipitation is forecast to continue to run at a deficit in southern Brazil and growing regions of Argentina. Weathertrends360 anticipated this will be the fourth driest first full week of January in 30 years for Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and the third driest in 30 years for Santa Fe, Argentina. The eastern region of Brazil will fare better with wetter-than-normal conditions expected.

As we head into late January and February 2021, Weatrhertrebds360 expects that wetter weather will return to portions of southern Brazil. While this is good news on the surface, timing will be an issue as early harvest activities begin and planting begins for the safrinha crop, potentially causing delays.

Dry conditions brought on by La Niña have reduced Argentina’s wheat crop. Argentina’s wheat harvest is estimated at 16.7 million tonnes versus 19.8 million tonnes last year, a 16% decline, according to the Rosario Grains Exchange. The estimate suggests this year’s wheat production in Argentina will be the lowest in five years. 

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