As the soybean harvest progresses slowly, the consequences of the drought affecting production are beginning to be seen. And it directly affects the soybean industry, the sector that generates the most dollars in the country.
Gone are the 60 million tons of beans produced in 2015 and the concept of “sojization” that was talked about in those days, when it was also planted along roadsides. Since that year, the harvest has started to decline to reach 43 million tons in the 2021-22 cycle and 20 million tons this year, affected by the drought.
Given this lack of production, the industry has started importing soybeans from Paraguay and Brazil. Between January and March, 2.7 million tons were imported against the 890,000 tons that had been purchased abroad in the same period of 2022.
Of the total imported in the first quarter, 2 million tons (74%) came from Paraguay. From the 2018/19 to 2020/21 crop years, more than 92% of Argentine soybean imports came from that destination.
“Last year that participation fell to 57.6% due to the severe drought that Paraguay experienced, which went from 9.6 to 4.2 million tons, which limited exports to Argentina, only in partially offset by soybeans from Uruguay, Bolivia and Brazil”. Guido D’Angelomarket analyst at the Rosario Stock Exchange.
This year, with Paraguayan soybean production 2022/23 returning to around 9.5 million tonnes, it is expected that the neighboring country regains its share in the Argentine market for milled soybeans. “If we take the past three years (excluding the 2021/22 drought), Paraguay exported about 42% of its production to Argentinaabout 4 million tons,” he added.
and the player who adds strength this year is Brazilsaid the analyst, who was not a regular supplier of soybeans for Argentine industrialization, but which arrives with a record harvest -150 million tons – and declining FOB prices, which also allow for heavy importation into our Village.
“Unlike Paraguay, which exports soybeans to Argentina by barge heading south on the Paraná, we have seen most of Brazil’s exports in ocean-going vessels.”
“Imports from Brazil are given in large numbers by ship, but this year the ship is close to 40% and the remaining 60% corresponds to barge. It is a much higher percentage than in Paraguay, which practically everything is done by barge” , accurate.
By volume it should be a Historical year of Brazilian soybean imports. In May she has already unloaded 130,000 tons, with projections of landings of 230,000 tons in the next 20 days. “2018 was a record year for Brazilian soybean imports and less than 650,000 tons of soybeans were imported throughout the year. In these first two months of the 2022/23 crop year, we would have already broken the record,” he said .
In addition, the Argentine industry has also traded around 80,000 tons of oilseeds from Bolivia.
The institution itself provides for it a total of 10 million tons will be imported during the year against the 3-4 million tons that are usually imported for quality reasons.
“The temporary importation would be half of the available crop. It is something unprecedented,” said Gustavo Idígoras, president of the Chamber of Petroleum Industry of the Argentine Republic (CIARA).
Given this landscape, from the soy industry — the cluster that generates the most dollars — they project it This year’s estimated processed soybean volume will be the lowest in 18 years.
According to Ciara’s projections, the annual soybean processing volume by 2023 will be 27 million tons. This represents a drop of 11.459 million tonnes or 30% from 2022, when it reached 38.459 million.
Likewise, it implies a drop of 18 million tons, 40% compared to 2016, the year in which the record grinding of 45 million tons was reached. Thus, the idle capacity of the plants reaches 65% and plant closures are expected in the second half of the year.
Ciara’s calculated decline in foreign exchange earnings for this year is US$18,777 million, considering lower manufacturing and exportable balances. Between January and April 2023, the soybean complex earned $5,237 million in foreign exchange, which is $5,861 million less than in the same period in 2022.
Charles Arterburn is a seasoned business journalist for News Rebeat, where he provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends and developments in the world of finance and economics.