Argentina’s soybean imports are expected to more than double this season due to the devastating impacts of a historic drought on the country’s 2022/23 harvest, the country’s Rosario grains exchange said in a report on Thursday.
Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soybean oil and meal, thanks to a powerful grain processing industry that can crush up to 73 million tonnes of the oilseed per year, but serious losses from the drought are accentuating the need for imports from Paraguay and Brazil.
The exchange predicts that Argentina will import 7.9 million tonnes of soybean this season, up 139% from the previous season, on the back of a harvest of just 27 million tonnes – from a previous harvest of 42.2 million tonnes.
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“Brazil has been emerging in this first part of the year as a growing supplier of soybeans for the Argentine oil industry, in addition to the high supply from Paraguay,” it said.
Argentine firms imported just over 400,000 tonnes of soybeans in the first two months of 2023, the exchange added, including about 170,000 tonnes from Brazil so far in March.
Last week, the president of Argentina’s grain processing chamber CIARA told Reuters the sector is in crisis and operating at the lowest capacity in history.
Regarding corn, the exchange said Argentina exported $9.15 billion of the crop from the 2021/22 harvest, prior to the impact of the drought, its second-highest level thanks to high prices even as volumes slipped 15% from the year before.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Maximiliano Heath; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)