Hike in EU soybean meal imports, Argentina's government plans to nationalize soy giant

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Ziviani
GettyImages/Ziviani

Related tags: soy crusher, Vicentin, imports

Soybean meal imports into the EU since July last year rose 2% year on year to 16.87m mt, reported S&P Global Platts citing EU Commission data.

EU soybean imports were up 1% at 14.17m mt for the period from July 2019 to June 2020.

Brazilian soybean meal (SBM) accounted for 46.3% of EU imports since July 2019, at 7.81m mt, while Argentina, the world's biggest soybean meal exporter, was responsible for 41.2% of EU SBM imports since over the year, at 6.95m mt.

The Netherlands remains the leading EU buyer of raw soybeans, followed by Spain, Denmark, Portugal and Italy.

Looking ahead, the US Department of Agriculture's oilseeds market outlook in May​ for 2020/2021 projects that EU soybean imports will decline 200,000 tons as larger meal availability from Argentina encourages a shift to meal imports. EU soybean meal imports are forecast to rise further, found that report.

Argentina's government in move to take over soy player

Meanwhile, Argentina's government is to intervene and take over Vicentin, a company with just under 90 years of business behind it. It is one of that country's largest soybean crushers; it also operates a joint venture with Switzerland-based, Glencore Plc, called Renova, with a major crushing plant in Argentina’s Santa Fe province part of that alliance.

Vicentin experienced financial challenges last year, with its debts reaching over $1bn, as per local media reports. If filed for bankruptcy protection​ in February this year.

The move to expropriate Vicentin is about saving jobs and protecting the country’s food exporting sector, said Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernandez, yesterday [June 8]. 

“Today we are signing a decree that provides for the intervention of Vicentin. We are sending Congress an expropriation bill so that the government takes over,”​ said the country's president, in a televised address.

However, late on Monday, Vicentin, itself, issued a statement denying any job losses and stressing it was in talks with interested parties to overcome the current 'under administration' situation, reported local media outlet, MercoPress.

Related topics: Europe, Latin America, Markets, Oilseeds

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