Jun 13, 2023

Fewest Trucks in 22 Years Delivering Grain to Argentine Ports

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Grain ports in and around the city of Rosario handle approximately three-quarters of Argentina's grain exports and the ports are reporting the fewest number of trucks delivering soybeans and corn in 22 years. Trucks are the primary mode of transporting grain in Argentina, so they are a good judge of the country's grain production.

The Rosario Grain Exchange reported that during March-April-May, approximately 280,000 trucks delivered soybeans and corn to the ports at Rosario. This is half the number of trucks during the same period last year and 62% below the five-year average.

The worst drought in 60 years significantly impacted the 2022/23 grain production in Argentina. Approximately 94% of the soybeans and 33% of the corn in Argentina was harvested as of late last week. The Rosario Grain Exchange is estimating the 2022/23 Argentina soybean production at 21.5 million tons, which is down 49% from last year. They are estimating the 2022/23 corn production at 35 million tons, which is down 37% from last year.

Argentina is traditionally the largest exporter of soybean meal and soybean oil. It is the third largest exporter of corn and a major exporter of wheat.

During the first four months of 2023, the Rosario Grain Exchange reported that Argentina imported a record 3 million tons of soybeans and that soybean imports might reach 10 million tons by the end of 2023. Soybean crushers are desperate for additional soybean supplies to keep their facilities operating. Paraguay is the main source of imported soybeans, but Brazil is also supplying a significant portion.

Adding to the scarcity of soybeans available to the crushers is the fact that farmers in Argentina are holding tight to their grain supplies as a hedge against soaring inflation, which is approximately 110%. Farmers would also like to see a significant devaluation of the Argentine peso before they sell their grain.