Rain during late December and January in Argentina’s major soybean growing region slowed the pace of planting.
Argentine farmers had planted around 90% of the crop by early January but wet conditions stopped any further progress.
During January the primary cropping region had received up to 75% above the average rainfall and although drier weather developed by the end of the month it came too late to finish planting.
In contrast, rains largely missed the southern Buenos Aires and La Pampa region which deterred farmers there from planting into dry conditions.
The upshot of this and an increase in corn and sunflower plantings means the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture are reporting a reduction in soybean area for 2017 by more than 3% to 19.8mha.
The USDA have also lowered its 2017 forecast of soybean harvested area by 450,000ha to 19.0mha.
Although hectares are down, the crop that has been planted is reported to be in good condition so the final harvested 2017 yield might yet still be up on last year, when late season flooding led to much more crop than is usual not being harvested.