A strong La Niña phenomenon is developing which means that “agricultural lands in the Argentine pampas region will suffer a prolonged dry period that will begin in January and will last until the beginning of March,” said Buenos Aires Grain Exchange climatologist Eduardo Sierra in a report sent by email.
January is typically dry, but this season La Niña will extend that dryness into February, Sierra anticipated.
Crop health depends on the February rains and may not fall until mid-March, causing a significant reduction in harvests.
Rains much further north, near the source of Argentina's key export route, the Paraná River, are deepening the shipping channel.
While the air current will almost return to normal in the austral summer, it will lose steam very quickly in the fall, which is just the season when most soybeans and corn are harvested and shipped to ports.
by Jonathan Gilbert, Bloomberg