(Photo: a technician from seed company Don Mario in a high-yield wheat plot, in Chacabuco zone)

Buenos Aires, September 9th. Analysts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, released a paper last week saying that 2019/20 wheat production would reach 21 million metric tons, achieving a new record, after 19,5 MMT last campaign.

The paper says that planted area reached 6.6 million hectares and that the planting is over. “We are viewing a steady growth in the wheat production”, minister Luis Etchevehere remarked. “We came from three record harvest in a row, that is the result of the effort from farmers and agronomist, and where the crop rotation push up the yields”, he stressed.

In the case of the barley, the paper mentions 1.33 million hectares planted this season (1.36 M 2018/19), but without any output projection.

The revival of the Argentine wheat production and the increasing heavy surplus for the world market had been taken by the Australian media. In an interview to Malcolm Bartholomaeus for the Australian ABC, the analyst said the rise of the Black Sea region, especially Ukraine, was no surprise and Australia had seen it coming a long time ago. “The real sleeper nation was Argentina”, he said.

“Argentina and Australia are the major southern hemisphere producers,” he said. “So we (the Australians) have an availability, a supply of wheat at a time of the year when the northern hemisphere is stretching their limits in terms of how far they are away from their previous harvest. “That’s always been a nice spot for Australia to be in, where we can push our new crop into a global market which is probably at its lowest level of supply in a calendar year. “Now suddenly we’ve got Argentina.”

Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre chief economist Ross Kingwell, said Argentina was increasing wheat yields at a faster rate than Australia, and this trend would continue.

He said the South American nation was on track to double its wheat available for sale on the international market to about 14 to 15 million tonnes in a decade.

“As their wheat yields [increase] there is a greater volume of grain that needs to find a home and unfortunately, that’s increasingly in South East Asia,” Professor Kingwell said.

Last month Indonesian Flour Mills Association (APTINDO) chairman Franciscus Welirang told the Australian Grains Industry Conference in Melbourne that two years ago, Indonesia bought 5.1 million tonnes of Australian wheat and about 150,000 tonnes from Argentina.

However, in the first five months of this year, Argentina shipped 1.6 million tonnes to Indonesia, while Australian exports plummeted 68 percent year on the year to 390,226 tonnes (source www.ABC.net.au).