(Graph by RIA Consultores on Ag-Industry secretariat data)

Buenos Aires, January 25th. According to the RIA Consultores’ weekly report, the crushing industry processed 36.8 million metric tons of soybeans during 2018, the smallest volume since 2013, when 34.0 MMT were crushed.

This volume represented a 12% drop comparing the previous year and 17% less than 2016, when it reached a record of 44.5 million metric tons crushed.

But there is an additional datum. Last year, the oilseed industry reached a record of imported soybean, 6.4 MMT, mainly from Paraguay, the US and Brazil. Industry imported this beans to crushing and re-exporting as soyoil and soymeal. That is to say that 17% of the total soybean crushed last year came from foreign suppliers.

The industry is waiting for the next harvest, when around 54 MMT could be harvested, if the climate doesn’t surprise the farmers, once again. It has a crushing capacity around 65 MMT and to maintaining a high occupation level is a crucial issue for the oilseed industry.

The official reports appoint that 17.5 million hectares were planted with soybean this season, but the heavy rains could reduce this area. In fact, private estimations talk about 300,000 hectares already lost, that implies around a million metric tons less.