LatinNews Daily - 21 February 2022

In brief: Warnings of drought impact in Paraguay

*Hugo Pastore, the executive director of Paraguay’s chamber of cereals and oilseeds exporters (Capeco) has told Spanish news agency EFE that the impact of drought in Paraguay and in particular on the soy sector was likely to translate into economic losses of between US$2.5bn and US$3bn to the economy at current soy prices. According to the same article, soy harvest could shrink up to 60% in the 2021-2022 agricultural year due to the impact of the droughts.  In its latest macroeconomic report on Paraguay released on 17 February, Brazil’s Itaú bank revised down its GDP forecast for Paraguay to -1.7% for 2022 (compared with its previous scenario of 0.5%), citing “a lower forecast for soy production and despite higher soy prices” due to an “historically severe drought”. Last month Itaú cited Paraguay’s agriculture & livestock minister Santiago Bertoni, as saying that soy production could reach between 6m-7m tonnes (t) this agricultural year, down from a previous estimate of around 10m t.

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