16 April 1998
Record harvest forecast for Argentina

ARGENTINA is on-track for a record overall harvest, with a good start for maize and soya crops, according to Christopher McMaster, director of agricultural investment company Agritech Inversora.

The only uncertainty is the countrys sunflower crop, which could fall short of the 5.27 million tonnes forecast by the Agriculture Department last month due to the El Niño phenomenon. Some farmers have been unable to reach the battered crop through waterlogged fields.

Peanuts have benefited from the rains and Argentina could become the worlds biggest exporter this year. Jorge Acevedo, president of the Argentine Peanut Chamber, said exports would surpass 400,000 tonnes out of a total crop of 600,000-800,000 tonnes if the weather held during the last few weeks of harvest.

Prices have dropped from $1,000/ t (£600/ t) last year to about $750/t amid expectations of a good Argentine crop.

  • Financial Times 16/04/98 page 33