The forecast for Argentina’s soyabean crop for the 2023/24 marketing year has been lowered due to a recent period of hot and dry weather, World Grain reported from a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

Although crop expectations had been lowered, soyabean production was still forecast to be almost double last year’s output, the 19 March report said.

In the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report, the association lowered its estimate for Argentine soyabean production by 1M tonnes to 49.5M tonnes.

Last year’s drought-affected soyabean harvest yielded only 25M tonnes – the lowest output in Argentina since the turn of the centre, the FAS’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report published on 14 March said.

Weather forecasts for Argentina’s main agricultural regions until April indicate a mix of higher-than-normal temperatures and varying precipitation levels due to the current El Niño weather pattern, according to the report.

“Although the harvest will be much improved from the previous year, the situation remains critical at this juncture according to several contacts,” the USDA said.

“Optimism still abounds about the production volume of this year, but producers (believe) low global prices will limit their returns when they expected a large rebound from last year’s disastrous crop.”

Due to the USDA’s lowered production forecast, soyabean crushing in Argentina was projected to be 1M tonnes lower than the agency’s previous forecast.

However, crushing would still rise significantly year-on-year, increasing by 47% from 2022/23 to 39M tonnes.