Problems in planting, little water in dams, but good yields and prices.
The Argentina rice producers have had a rare campaign, marred by lack of rainfall, however that has complemented greater radiation and triggered, in general, yields above average. On the other hand, the pandemic favoured an increase in cereal prices worldwide.
This campaign Argentina planted 185,000 hectares and is expected to harvest 1.2 million tons of rice. Corrientes, which is the most rice-screed province, was barely able to plant 79,000 hectares (10,000 less than last year); It is followed by Entre Rios, with 63,500 ha.; Santa Fe with 290,000 ha., Formosa with 8600 and Chaco with 4900 ha.
As in several regions and for several summer crops, the 2020/21 campaign started complicated due to the lack of rain mentioned beforehand. In addition, the rivers was very low this year, however the producers who were able to overcome this managed to boost the yields. This is important because it gives relief to small and medium-sized producers who have been adrift, so that they can pay off debts and continue in activity. They did have to be quite wary of irrigation, it took a lot to maintain it and there were problems with weeds and insects.
Entre Ríos this campaign had 17% more than last year, with 65,300 hectares. In 2019/20 Entre Ríos had only 54,200 hectares of rice. Since 2000/01, the largest area was 99,600 ha in 2010/11 and the worst 52,300 in 2001/02.
With 85% harvested in the province of Corrientes they estimate that it will end with averages of 7,000 to 7,200 kilos per hectare that is well above 6500 kg/ha provincial historical average. In Chaco, there are also yields 10-15% above average, at 7000-7300 kg/ha, 10-15% above average.
In Corrientes there are 7-8 companies that support the area by making investments with a lot of support in the province, which is something lacking in Entre Ríos.
As always in the field, the equation is yielded by price. And the prices today are positive. Since 2012/13, the price of rice in dollars has fallen internationally, but since mid-2020 it began to rebound.
The pandemic and isolation had a strong price increase, but also in America rice production was not good, which also increased the prices.
Normally, long-fine rice, the most produced rice in the world, is between $150 and $190 a tonne with shell to the producer. Today it trades between $270 and $290 per tonne.
From mid-2020 a regional recovery of rice commenced and it seems that this year those good prices will stabilize, which will give producers a margin to pay off old debts and invest to improve structure, pumping works, canals, machinery, etc.
Brazil has exported to other countries outside the region so that it began to demand more rice from neighbouring countries.
Problems, challenges and opportunities
Lack of competitiveness…..There are no policies, no focus on promoting the development of an activity that, under the right conditions, up to 300,000 hectares could be sown instead of the 185,000 that were implemented this year in Argentina.”
Having ports, natural well water, a crop with predictability and industrial capacity, it is not understood how the government does not support this activity.
It is an activity that generates work for 4 people every 100 hectares, and is a product that will have good prices for the next few years.
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