El Niño rescues drought-weary Argentine farmers


05 March 1998


El Niño rescues drought-weary Argentine farmers


EL Niño has saved the bacon of Argentine farmers who have been suffering from La Niña, or drought.


For the climatic phenomenon that has proved disastrous for some agricultural areas of the world has ended three years of drought in many areas and could bring a bumper harvest.


Felip Sol., agriculture secretary, forecast a record grain and oilseeds
harvest of 61.5m tonnes against last years previous record of 54m tonnes.


The wheat harvest could reach 14.3m tonnes, slightly down on last years
15.9m tonnes.


Wheat has suffered a few problems from storms and waterlogged ground and the crop is low-quality. Much of it might have to be used for animal feed, according to Christopher McMaster, director of agricultural investment company Papelera Invesora.


The sunflower seed crop is still in the balance but maize looks like being a
star performer with harvest forecasts set at 16.8m tonnes against last years
15.5m tonnes.


Meanwhile, the Argentine Wool Federation reports the country exported 23,579 tonnes of wool, real weight, between July 1997 and January this year with revenues of $92.82m.


  • Financial Times 05/03/98 page 37

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