Argentina pauses new export sales of soybean meal

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Art Wager
© GettyImages/Art Wager

Related tags: Soybean meal, Argentina

Argentina’s drought has been having a major negative impact on the country’s soybean crop, and the weekend saw its agricultural ministry move to suspend soybean oil and meal export registrations.

The move, which stops sales and exports linked to the 2021/22 crop, drew the ire of that market’s soy crushing and trading sector.

"It is totally contrary to the export interest of Argentina,”​ said CIARA, the local trade group for vegetable oil and protein meal producers, in a post on social media.

Peter Collier, senior analyst and advisor, CRM AgriCommodities, told us this development will serve to heighten global concerns over availability of agricultural commodities. “Like Russia, Argentina has a history of interfering in export markets, mostly comprising of placing export taxes upon soybean oil and meal exports,”​ he commented.

Tax hike

The decision would appear to have been taken by the Argentinian ministry to enable an increase of the current level of tax being placed upon exports out of Argentina, rather than to create prevent exports and sales, longterm, said the analyst.

“The justification for export taxes is twofold, not only is there revenue generated for the government, but they are also an attempt to control internal market price inflation as the export tax is expected to be at the detriment of domestic producers, rather than adding additional pressure on global markets, although, in practise, interference in exports markets is rarely so simple.”

Imports of soymeal (SBM) from Argentina are critical to meet EU protein demand, with the South American country shipping between 6 and 7.5 million metric tons (Mt) of SBM annually into the EU out of a total 26m Mt import demand, said the oilseed market specialist.

“Looking to next season and the invasion of Ukraine is creating a large uncertainty around rapeseed and sunflower production, likely leading to an additional demand being placed upon imported South American soymeal in 2022/23,”​ said Collier.

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