The rains registered in recent weeks in Argentina favored the start of the soybean planting of the 2020/21 cycle, said on Thursday the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange (BdeC), which foresees that 17.2 million hectares will be incorporated with the oilseed in the current campaign.

The area planted with grain would exceed by 100,000 hectares the area planted last season. However, the BdeC forecasts a drop in the harvest to 46.5 million tons, from 49 million in 19/20, due to drier conditions due to the presence of a weak La Niña.

Meanwhile, the Stock Exchange warned that Argentina will continue to need rainfall after an extremely dry southern winter in several agricultural regions.

“Despite an important initial advance, driven by the rainfall of the week prior to this publication, these regions await future rains that provide fluidity to planting,” said the BdeC in its weekly report, where it noted that the seed had been sown. 4.1% of the planned area.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soybean oil and flour, and the third largest supplier of unprocessed soybeans.

Regarding corn, the Stock Exchange said that recent rains allowed planting to continue in areas where the soil had become too dry for planting and that farmers have planted 30.9% of the 6.3 million hectares planned for the current campaign.

Finally, the BdeC noted that while the rainfall recorded prevents the 2020/21 wheat yields from further deteriorating, it came too late to improve the projection of a 16.8 million ton harvest.

Argentine wheat was the crop hardest hit by the severe lack of water that affected parts of the country since June. Initially, the Cereal Exchange had estimated Argentine wheat production at 21 million tons