Argentina’s drought-stricken crops could bring in 23% fewer export dollars this season versus a year earlier, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said in a report on Tuesday.
For much of the last year, Argentina’s worst drought in sixty years has delayed planting and withered crop outlooks, making life ever harder for farmers in a country where inflation nears 100%.
The agriculture sector’s export revenues from the 2022/2023 harvest are expected to fall to $33.39 billion, the exchange said.
Argentina is the world’s top exporter of processed soy, the third exporter of corn and an important global supplier of wheat.
Recent rains brought some relief to parts of Argentina’s agricultural regions, but the risks are far from over, the exchange said, adding that the drought could trim $3.31 billion from the government’s strained tax intake.
“The impact could be even greater if rainfall does not return to normal in the remainder of the season and if the risk of early frosts becomes real, given the delays in planting progress,” the report said.
The grains exchange forecasts 2022/23 soybean and corn production, crops whose harvest begins in April, at 38 million tonnes and 44.5 million tonnes respectively.
As recently as September, the exchange had forecast the soybean crop at 48 million tonnes and corn at 50 million tonnes, a sign of the drought’s toll.