Market Update December 2020

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

Climate

On December 9, 2020, 6 million hectares of farmland were declared state of emergency due to drought. Besides the southwest of the country, almost the entire country is affected by the climatic conditions. The most problematic situation exists in northwestern Uruguay and the Maldonado area. Most affected are cattle and dairy farmers in these regions. For those farmers with less than 500 hectares, it is now possible to ask for a more favorable credit facility.

Rainfall in almost the entire country end of November and beginning of December eased the hydric deficit a bit. Expectations are that summer will be warmer and drier than usual due to La Niña.

Cattle

In November 2020 for the first time exports of beef were higher in volume than a year before. Due to pandemic, exports had been less, but this was now recovered. Main destination is China (3% more than in 2019). Followed by USA and Canada that increased imports of Uruguayan beef significantly.

In November, many cattle farmers were selling their cows in order to avoid problems during a dry summer. That led to lower prices for cattle and beef. In December, most farmers are waiting for prices to recover. Regarding sheep, the situation is reverse with a lot of offer, but not many sales.

Crop

Harvest of winter crops like wheat, barley and canola was historic. In general, yields were good and prices are good as well. Price for wheat is 220 USD and for barley 200 USD with average yields over 4.000 kg per hectare. That means good results for many crop farmers. Climatic conditions during winter were very favorable with cold nights and sunny days.

As a result of this situation there is now a record export of wheat worth 130 M USD.

Seeding of summer crops is a bit delayed as soils are dry. Early crops will probably do well. That means crops seeded in October. Doubts exist regarding the seeding of row crops in December seeded after harvest of winter crop.

Developments

The move of the horticultural market from the center of Montevideo to the outskirts of town is delayed from November to March 2021.

Prices Livestock

Prices Grains