Argentine soybean sales pick up pace in week ended Oct. 26

Foreign media reported on November 2: Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture released a report showing that soybean sales to Argentine farmers accelerated, but overall sales continued to lag a year earlier.

As of October 26, Argentine farmers had sold 31.28 million tons of 2021/22 soybeans, up 323,000 tons from a week earlier and lower than the 33.14 million tons sold in the same period last year.

For comparison, weekly sales in the first three weeks of October were 165,000, 55,000 and 376,000 tons of soybeans. 1.787 million tons of soybeans were sold in the week ended Sept. 28, as the Argentine government offered farmers a special exchange rate of 200 pesos per dollar in September to encourage faster soybean sales and boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange forecasts Argentina’s soybean production to reach 43.3 million tonnes in 2021/22. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected Argentina’s soybean production at 44 million tons in October.

The Argentine Finance Minister announced on September 4 that from September 5 to 30, Argentine soybean farmers will sell soybeans at a settlement exchange rate of 200 pesos per US dollar instead of the official 140 pesos, prompting farmers to actively sell soybeans.

Previously, due to high inflation in Argentina (which may be close to 100% this year) and the continued depreciation of the currency, Argentine farmers were reluctant to sell soybeans, using soybeans as a hard currency against a weakening peso. Because Argentine farmers sell soybeans for peso income, the depreciation of the peso means it is more cost-effective to hold soybeans than to hold the peso.

In addition, Argentine farmers have pre-sold 1.7 million tons of soybeans for 2022/23, an increase of 74,000 tons from a week ago and down from 2.594 million tons in the same period last year.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange forecasts Argentina’s 2022/23 soybean production at 48 million tonnes. The USDA in October projected Argentina’s 2022/23 soybean production at 51 million tons.