Argentine Peanut Crop Report
Season 2020/2021 – #1
With rains well below expectations and historical averages throughout the winter season, Argentina is beginning a new peanut season. In the midst of an uncertain context due to the COVID pandemic and the economic situation in the country, Argentine farmers and shellers are kicking off a new season in which the utmost expectation is to achieve similar results in terms of quality and yield in relation to the previous two crops.
Until last week, there hadn’t been significant rainfall throughout the peanut areas, which made it difficult to start planting peanuts, since moisture levels in the soil were not suitable. Temperatures had been below historical records for this time of the year. Consequently, the beginning of season suffered from a short delay compared to previous seasons. However, the delay was not critical considering it’s still early and the situation could be fully reverted.
Fortunately, important and widespread rains occurred in October 19th and lasted thru October 25th. Additionally, temperature rose to normal levels, bringing relief to peanut farmers, who had been waiting for better conditions. Before the widespread rains, plantings had only started in the Southern and Eastern areas but now they are kicking off in all the remaining peanut areas (show in our Main Peanut Area Map).
As of the date of this report, the overall planting progress is only 12%, whereas the remaining 88% is expected to be attained in the next 30 days, provided weather conditions allow it. According to today’s conditions, plantings are expected to occur within the optimal schedule, which goes from October 20th to November 30th.
Main Peanut Area Map
The main peanut area in Argentina includes the provinces of Cordoba, La Pampa, San Luis and Buenos Aires. In general terms, it can be divided as follows:
Rainfall and Temperature Analysis
As mentioned before, important rains occurred in the peanut area during the last week, improving the conditions to kick off planting tasks.
In the Central Area, average rainfall in the last climatic event (Oct 25th) was 80 mm and brought a big relief to growers. In the Eastern Area, average rainfall hovered around 120 mm and, although it was needed, such a large amount of rainfall in a short period of time created isolated problems mainly related flooded fields and interrupted field routes. Those issues are expected to be overcome soon though. The Northern area, which was the most critical one in terms of water records under the soil, received less considerable rains compared to other areas. Nonetheless, records were sufficient to kick off planting tasks.
A map of rainfall during October in the Cordoba province, which concentrates the highest amount of peanuts in Argentina, is shown below:
Regarding temperatures, they had been considerably low during the first half of October. Minimum temperatures hovered around 10°C whereas maximum records did not surpass 22 to 25°C. Towards the 3rd week of October, the minimum temperature records increased to 17°C, thus creating better conditions for the seed to begin the germination process once implanted.
Extended Weather Forecasts
According to several models of extended weather conditions, probabilities favor a marked development of La Niña conditions, which in the Southern hemisphere means that rains are expected to be scarce, especially till the beginning of 2021. The peak of La Niña is expected to be reached in December 2020, shifting to more neutral conditions afterwards.
Plantings, which had started in the Southern and Eastern areas only due to a better moisture condition in the soils, are expected to become general in all the remaining peanut areas of Argentina thanks to the important rains occurred in the last week.
Weed treatments continue (pre-emergent) for weed control in all areas of our reference map. Considering that forecasts for spring and beginning of the summer show rains below the historical average, it will be important to thoroughly monitor the fields to achieve adequate weed control, since they compete directly with the crop for the use of water.
After an extremely dry winter, rains finally occurred in the last week to, at least, ensure the beginning of the planting tasks in Argentina. Considering the important rainfall records, the plantings cycle is expected to be completed within the optimal window of time (Oct 20th – Nov 30th), provided weather conditions are suitable. It is important to highlight that we are just beginning a new cycle and more rains will be needed shortly to ensure a good crop development. Recent rains were relieving to start and ensure that planting tasks will be carried out within the expected time frame, but by no means are they enough to guarantee the crop development. More rains will be needed shortly in order to improve the water records in the soils.
The extended weather forecasts do not foresee important rains for the remainder of 2020 so this situation should be closely monitored by everyone involved in the peanut cycle. However, if the weather shifts to more neutral conditions over the summer, then rains are expected to occur from January and onwards.
A new peanut season has just started and, although it’s too early to draw significant conclusions, expectations are optimistic. We will continue monitoring the peanut cycle development and will keep you posted with the latest news.
FINAL FIGURES OF PEANUT PRODUCTION IN ARGENTINA – SEASON 19/20
The Cordoba Grain Exchange (BCCBA) has recently released a report in which information about the final results of the previous crop is shared. The most important findings are the following:
• The total quantity of peanuts produced was 1,373,700 metric tons (MT), which represents a 3% decrease compared to the 2018/2019 season, mainly due to a smaller implanted area.
• According to their surveys, 305,600 hectares of peanuts were planted in the peanut region, which represents an 8% reduction compared to the previous season. Of that total area, 85% corresponds to the province of Cordoba.
• The weighted average yield (dirty and wet inshell basis) was 4,51 MT/ha. Yield showed a 3% improvement compared to last season because, although the rains were less considerable during the crop cycle, the good weather conditions at the time of digging and harvesting allowed to minimize losses.
The following table summarizes the results of the peanut crop 2019/2020 in Argentina:
The following graph shows the evolution of the main productive variables (planted area, in-shell production and in-shell yield) throughout the last 5 seasons:
BRIEF COMMENT ABOUT THE CURRENT MARKET SITUATION
Despite the atypical year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, peanut prices have surged in the last few weeks as a consequence of different dynamics that are playing out in the main origins and destinations.
On the offer side, here is a brief comment of the situation in the other main origins:
• Brazil seems to be completely out of stocks of current crop, so the focus is on the new crop plantings which are expected to start shortly or have just started in some areas. Like Argentina, the peanut area in Brazil also suffered from drought conditions that hindered the beginning of the new crop cycle in due time and created delays. The price of Brazilian peanuts has skyrocketed in the last few weeks, especially in the domestic market, with buyers turning to Argentina, attempting to find better offers from their neighbors. An important surge in the demand of peanut oil (mainly from china) is also putting upward pressure to the current market.
• China is expecting a decent new crop, although heavy rains brought complications in some peanut fields, mainly towards the Northern area, which could affect final yields and quality. Some sources speak of a 10% increase in the size of the new crop compared to the previous one. Other more conservative sources place the increase at 5%. As usual, it’s very difficult to put together an accurate estimation for the Chinese crop. China has been buying considerable amounts of farmerstock mainly from the US, Senegal and Sudan, which could mean that current peanut consumption in China is strong and going up. The current price of Chinese peanuts seems to be stable at the current levels.
• According to the estimation that was just released by the USDA, the crop in the US seems to be delayed by a 10% compared to the average of the last 5 seasons, and by an astonishing 18% compared to the previous season. The crop condition seems to be much better than last year, but we have the feeling that it’s not among the best crops of the last 5 years as some reports suggested. The price of new crop has decreased recently, reaching levels equivalent to Argentina, which is in line with the hypothesis that the US will count on a good crop.
• Adverse climatic conditions have been reported in India recently, with heavy rains occurring in the main peanut area. Yields and quality could be affected as a result of the ongoing rains, so the new crop’s outlook could change considerably. Prices are quoting on the high side and are expected to get even firmer as a result of the described events.
All in all, from an offer standpoint, it seems that the world could look to a bullish scenario in the short and medium term.
On the other side of the equation, buyers are struggling with the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, which is creating different and opposite effects, depending on the specific business the company is targeting. For those companies in the hospitality business, it’s a very bad year considering such an astonishing decrease of touristic activities. As Europe is hit by the second wave of COVID-19, hotels remain closed or with very limited activity so peanut consumption is dropping considerably. On the other hand, some products such as peanut paste have experienced an increase in the consumption levels as more people stay home, so companies targeting this business have experienced larger demands from their customers. As with every industry, there’s no clear roadmap towards the first semester of 2021.
Below is a graph that shows the evolution of the peanut prices (Raw 40-50 CIF Rotterdam basis) in the last few years:
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