ARGENTINA (18 February)
ARGENTINA (18 February)

Harvesting of the 1997 wheat crop has been recently completed following some disruption caused by the intensive rains. The crop is reported in good conditions in the southern parts of the key producing province of Buenos Aires, while crop quality problems and diseases are reported in the western parts of this province and northern and central La Pampa. In the northern sections of the wheat producing belt, in the provinces of Cordoba, Santa Fe and Entre Rios, where precipitation has been heaviest, possible lower yields are expected. Production is tentatively estimated at 13.9 million tonnes, compared to last yearÂ’s record 16 million tonnes, but nevertheless well above the last 5- year average. The abundant rains, by contrast, have largely benefited the development of the 1998 maize crop, to be harvested from late February, and latest official forecasts point out to a record 16.5 million tonnes. A bumper sorghum crop of about 3.6 million tonnes is also expected.