(Photo: Santiago del Solar, Secretary Luis M. Etchevehere; Guillermo Bernaudo and Luis Urriza in the conference press)
Buenos Aires, April 17th. Headed by the AgroIndustry secretary, Mr. Luis Miguel Etchevehere, officials from this Government branch announced an amazing new record grain production, reaching 145 million metric tons, 8 MMT above the last record campaign 2016/17.
The corn was the “star” of the announcement because Government estimates that farmers will collect 55 MMT, while soybean harvest is projected at 55.9 million metric tons. But corn output is far away from private estimations, like Rosario Grain Exchange (BCR) that estimates 48 MMT or the USDA which in his April report estimated a 47 MMT output.
“Corn is corn, no matter if it consumed on the farm, sold to feed industry or exported”, Mr. Etchevehere replied, asked by eFarmNewsAr.com.
Officials in charge of the crop estimation office reduced the corn area from 9.25 million hectares in March to 8.70 million in April, but they let relatively stable the harvest area around 7 million hectares. As industrial use remains unchanged, and feed use only increases 1.8MMT, the record output has two main destinations: an increase in exports from 22.45 to 30 MMT and final stocks which grow from 8.16 to 11.94 MMT.
“We haven’t see any difficult to sell this large corn volume in the foreing markets”, the deputy secretary of Agricultural Markets, Jesus Silveyra, told to the media in the press conference runned by the secretariat. At this point, the official estimations are very close to the USDA estimation, which estimates 30.5 MMT corn exports.
But despite a larger harvest, agricultural exports value just would increase US$5.1 billion on respect the last year, due to the declining grains prices, mainly in soybean and corn. This is a key issue for the Government because they need the dollars from exports to maintain the currency rate stable in this electoral year.