Market Update March 2021

Monthly market update providing objective information about crops, cattle, forestry and other diverse farming business in Uruguay.

Climate

This is not a typical La Niña year. Forecasts by the end of last year told us that we were going to have a hot and dry summer. A stronger than usual La Niña. True that November and December were dry and it seemed to become a tough year for agriculture. How different things turned out. Now that we are in start of March, we observe mild temperatures and lots of rainfall. Many places in Uruguay got up to 600 ml in the first 2 months of the year. Mind you, that average annual rainfall is 1200 ml. The hydric deficit was overcome quickly during the summer. The area close to Dolores and Mercedes in the department Rio Negro seems to be the exception with a lack of rainfall during the summer. This is the most important cropping area in Uruguay

Cattle

Grasslands have recovered throughout the country and prices for meat continue recovering. The number of slaughtered animals is slowly rising as compared to last year. Exports of dairy products is rising with main destinations Brazil, China and Algeria.

Crop

Cultivation of most grains is looking good both in terms of yield and price. The price of soybeans is 500 USD, for wheat 218 USD and for canola very good at 430 USD and finally corn at 230 USD.

At the end of February was the first export of barley 36.000 ton to China. The protocol between both countries was signed in 2018 and ratified in December. A second export of 40.000 tons of barley was done in early March by Malteria Oriental. The expectation is that export of sorghum to China will soon be authorized as well. The question remains what impact this will have on prices of this grain. There was also a shipment of 60.000 tons of rice to Iraq. That means a good moment for exports of grains worldwide.

Developments

After a few months delay due to power struggle between local and national authorities, late February the new horticultural market outside Montevideo was officially opened. The market was constructed on 95 hectares of which 30 hectares are left open for future development. The trading area consists of 100.000 m2 where 8.000 to 10.000 persons can work daily. This project clearly offers potential for development of horticulture and fruticulture in Uruguay. These sectors are relatively small and aimed almost entirely at domestic consumption. The market is located strategically with good access to both seaport and airport.

Prices Livestock

Prices Grains